Oct 30, 2010

Tomato Almond Pesto Pasta (with turkey sausage)

Tomato almond pesto pasta with turkey sausage!

I know I always say that the meal I am sharing is super fast to put together but this one jumped to the top of my list. AND you can make it even easier than I did if you want to go all vegetarian! Between work and school these days I’m getting swamped by my to-do list and my day becomes a race against the clock. How much can I squeeze into one day and still maintain a semi-balanced routine with a run/workout, being productive and putting together a nice dinner. It’s hard! Every day I think I have more and more respect for how my mom did all this and with two kids running around!

Sometimes cooking dinner for me is like getting myself to the gym for an early morning workout. I wake up and try to make bargains with myself about going or not going to the gym until finally I force myself out of bed and once I hit the treadmill I’m thanking myself for not caving in. With things getting so busy, sometimes I want to do the same thing with dinner but once I get in the kitchen it gives my mind a chance to kind of slow down and unwind. Plus, once the meal is done and I’m sitting down to eat I am definitely thanking myself for winning the argument of cooking in because truthfully, nothing beats a homemade meal after a really long day! So when you have those days where you are battling between starvation and exhaustion, you have to have these go to super fast meals that you can whip together and start enjoying. This pasta dish is a burst of flavor, so aromatic that even after blending it up your mouth starts watering! and it is FAST; really FAST!!

Here’s all that you will need:


(Adapted from smitten kitchen. Serves two dinner portions; maybe two dinners and a lunch)

  • ~2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 2 turkey sausage links, casings removed (optional)
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh Asiago cheese, grated
  • splash of olive oil
  • sprinkle of salt

If you are going to use turkey sausage this is the place you want to start. First remove the casings from the sausage by making a cut down the middle of the sausage and peeling the casings off. Add the sausage to a pan on medium heat and saute until it is browned. We use mild italian sausage so it already has some great flavor and then the tomato pesto is where the rest  of your seasonings will be introduced.

Cooked turkey sausage

Not going to use turkey sausage? No worries, your dish will be just as delicious as the tomato almond pesto really is where all the flavor is at! So with no turkey sausage you can skip to your pasta. Bring a large pot with a little salt to boil and then add your bow tie pasta. They will cook for about 10-12 minutes, which gives you just enough time to put your pesto together!

Pesto Ingredients: parmesan and asiago cheese, garlic clove, roma tomatoes, basil and thyme (minus the almonds)

Putting together the pesto is my favorite part because it’s so easy and it smells so delicious. There is something gratifying about putting something together in 5 minutes but having it smell like you spent much more time on it! Start with you garlic clove, fresh thyme and fresh basil. Throw that in the food processor and give it a good chop. Add the almond slices, give it a quick chop and then add the cheeses and roma tomatoes. I quartered the roma tomatoes so they were a little easier for the machine to chop up. Mix everything together, add just a tad bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! It really couldn’t get easier than that!

Tomato almond pesto complete

Once your sausage and pasta are done add the sausage and pesto the pasta and give everything a big stir. You may have extra pesto left over, which could be quite delicious on top of bread or good for a mini lunch version of this dish.

Pasta, sausage and pesto combined. Yum!

I think it total, this meal takes me about 25 minutes from start to finish. The sausage doesn’t take long at all but it’s just another thing to watch over so without that I’m sure it would be even faster! I found the recipe about a month ago and although we are trying not to repeat meals very often, we looped back to this one twice already! It’s that delicious. Sometimes I feel like the meals that take no time to put together lack in flavor but this meal is quite the opposite simply because of all the FRESH flavors in the pesto! It’s also a great alternate to a heavy meat sauce and spaghetti meal!  After a long day all you’ll be responsible for is boiling some pasta, chopping a few roma tomatoes, pressing the chop bottom on the food processor and stirring!Bottom line: you should make this!!! For now, that’s tomato almond pesto pasta (with turkey sausage)…in the shell of a nut!

Tomato almond pesto pasta with sausage ready to eat!

Leave a comment