Mealtime Monday: Skillet-Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage

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I have been a bit sporadic with Mealtime Monday posting this year, but I’m back today with a recipe idea from Cooking Light for skillet toasted penne pasta.  By slowly cooking the pasta in a skillet, it brings out a lot of flavor.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner


  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 13 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Skillet penne pasta ingredients

I have started being better about prepping my ingredients prior to starting the meal to help with the panic mid cooking of needing something that is not yet clean and cut.  Also, since I have been working longer days lately, Alex has been fantastic with prepping and even cooking more, so it has been great!

Skillet penne pasta prep

While prepping the ingredients, you can add your stock to a saucepan on simmer.  You want to keep your broth warm for this recipe throughout, but not to have it boiling.

Broth for skillet penne pasta

Next, in a large skillet over medium/high heat add 1 tablespoon oil and your dry penne pasta.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner

Saute for about 5 minutes or until you start to see some browning and smell the nutty flavor.

Skillet penne pasta

Remove pasta into a bowl and set aside.

Penne pasta with spinach recipe

In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion & sausage (removed from casing).

Penne pasta with spinach & sausage recipe

Saute until onions are softened and the meat is cooked through, using your spatula to crumble the sausage as it cooks.

Penne pasta with spinach

Set the meat mixture aside.

Skillet penne pasta with sausage

Add your toasted pasta back into the original skillet and reduce heat to medium/low.  Add one cup of your warmed stock at a time, allowing it to absorb and cook down before adding more.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner

This process will take awhile, so be patient.  You will notice the pasta soften & plump more with each addition of stock.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner tonight

Once you are on the last cup of stock, add your spinach to the pan.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner tonight

Stir around to allow the spinach to wilt and mix in with the pasta.

Penne pasta with spinach and sausage

Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the meat mixture, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper flakes to the pan.  Stir together and remove from heat.

Penne pasta with spinach and sausage recipe

Serve and top with a little more parmesan cheese if desired. This is a time consuming meal and not great for a weeknight, but very flavorful and worth it on occasion.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner

Mealtime Monday: Kielbasa Pasta Recipe

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Mealtime Monday has been a bit more sporadic this year so far, but here I am again with an easy weeknight meal to share.  I can’t believe how fast this month is flying by.  It is already the 24th and this is only my 2nd post of the month.  Wow.  In the last few weeks we went to Reno for my company trip, had friends over for an appetizer party, I got sick with a head cold and then we moved offices at work.  Crazy busy indeed.  Anyways, back to the food, with this recipe from Taste of Home for Kielbasa Sausage Pasta.

Kielbasa pasta recipe with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion


  • 1 pound pre-cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into small pieces
  • Angel hair pasta (I cook 1/2 the box and it makes about 4 hearty servings)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced stewed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Grated parmesan

Kielbasa pasta recipe

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add cooking oil, bell pepper, garlic and onion.  Sauté for about 5-10 minutes to soften veggies and heat sausage.

Kielbasa pasta with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion

Add the diced stewed tomatoes.  Reduce to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Sausage pasta recipe with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion-YUM

Meanwhile in a large pot, cook angel hair pasta according to the directions on the box.

Sausage pasta with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion-YUM

Add butter and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese.  Mix to incorporate.

Kielbasa pasta

Serve pasta into each bowl.  Top with a little more parmesan cheese.

Delicious kielbasa pasta with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion

Layer on the sausage mixture and a sprinkle more cheese.

Kielbasa pasta recipe-YUM!

Serve and enjoy!

Sausage pasta recipe with tomatoes, bell pepper and onion

Mealtime Monday: Pesto Sausage Flatbread Pizza

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Back again for another mealtime monday!  This week I am sharing a simple recipe that we like to bring in the mix from time to time.  Back when we lived in San Francisco, our favorite pizza was the pesto sausage from Amici’s.  Now that we can’t walk over and pick one up, we came up with an easy recipe for a pesto sausage flatbread pizza.

Pesto sausage flatbread pizza recipe


Preheat oven to 400°.  Roll out your pizza dough on a greased baking sheet.  Pop into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.  By partially baking the dough before topping you will get a crisper crust.

Making pesto sausage flatbread pizza

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Sausage pesto homemade pizza

Remove pizza crust from the oven.  Spread a thin layer of homemade pesto over the entire surface.

Sausage pesto homemade flatbread

Top with cooked sausage and grated cheeses.

Pesto sausage flatbread pizza

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 7-9 minutes or until browned and crisp.

Homemade pesto sausage flatbread

Cut into pieces and serve.  So simple and delicious; a great weeknight meal!

Homemade pesto sausage flatbread pizza

Sausage Pesto Pinwheels

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I like to call these Sausage Pesto Pinwheels, delicious rolls of yummy goodness!  They are super easy to make and always a hit and any party.  The idea came to me this year when trying to decide what to take to a New Years party.  I saw a few pinwheel recipes but nothing jumped out at me that sounded good and cheese free (our friend hosting the party hates cheese,  I love it!)  So I grabbed two ingredients we like, sausage and pesto, and there we have it!

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