Jul 10, 2012

Zucchini, Cherry Tomato and Chicken Sausage Pasta

For the past four months I’ve been combining my running with PureBarre classes and I think it’s safe to say that I’m now addicted to PureBarre in much the same way that I am to my running! The classes are a combination of dance (ballet specifically), yoga and Pilates and despite the fact that my muscles end up shaking at the end of each set of exercises, I get the chance to block out everything else going on for the 55 minute class. It’s the perfect compliment to my running both mentally and physically! With running, I just let my mind wander and I can do some good thinking! But with PureBarre, I get into a “zone” you could say and I can’t really focus on anything except the exercise; it’s a very welcome break! If you can’t already tell, I’m a total fan and if there is a PureBarre near you, try it out as soon as possible! You’ll be hooked!

With all of that said, I’m finding myself trying to squeeze in more and more classes each week but also don’t want to give up my runs in the morning. So that results in some double work out days; run in the morning and PureBarre at night. Monday is one of those days and I don’t get home from class until about 6:45pm. Such a night calls for a SUPER speedy dinner! Last Monday I whipped together this pasta dish in no time and we were sitting down to dinner by 7:30pm. Not only that, but after double the workouts, it totally hit the spot!

Here’s what you need:


(Inspired by Eat, Live, Run. Serves 2 dinner portions and leftovers for 1 lunch.)

  • 8 oz whole wheat bowtie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 large zucchini, chopped
  • large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 small or 2 large chicken sausage links
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While the water comes to a boil, start cooking the chicken sausage in a small saute pan. Depending on the size this could take anywhere between 6-10 minutes. To really speed things up, let the sausages cook for a few minutes and then slice them up to finish cooking the rest of the way.

Next, chop up the zucchini, half the tomatoes and mince the shallot and garlic.

At this point, the water should be to a full boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for about 8 minutes. Also heat up a larger saute pan with the olive oil and add the zucchini and shallot. Let cook for about 4 or 5 minutes and then add the garlic and halved tomatoes. You don’t want to cook things so much that it all becomes mushy so keep a close on eye on it all. Once done, squeeze half a lemon over the veggies and add the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. The sausage should be completely cooked through at this point and you can go ahead and cut it into bite size slices, if you haven’t done so already. Add the sausage to the pan with the veggies.

Once the pasta is cooked through, drain and then add the sausage and veggie mixture to the pasta. Give everything a big toss.

Grate some fresh parmesan cheese and sprinkle a large handful on top of each serving. Dinner is ready!

So not only is this meal fast but you can make practically any variation according to your preferences or what you happen to have in your fridge at the moment. Any veggie would do and you could even take out the chicken sausage and go with a completely vegetarian dish. I’m also a big fan of turkey sausage so you could substitute that for the chicken if you’d rather. Even the pasta is easy to trade out. Pick your favorite or use the last bit of whatever is sitting in your cabinet and it will still taste delicious! So squeeze in that evening workout class or run and if you need the motivation, just think about this tasty dinner that you’ll be sitting down to afterwards in no time! For now, that’s zucchini, cherry tomato, chicken sausage pasta…in the shell of a nut!



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