Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easy Sweet Italian Sausage & Pasta Skillet Dinner (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free)

This one-skillet meal is very quick to prepare, which is nice for those busy week nights.

Fennel-scented Sweet Italian Sausage is the best choice here. The rich cream compliments the flavor of the Italian sausage perfectly and it mellows out the tomatoes too. You can add as much heat as you want with the red pepper flakes. I think a sprinkling of fresh rosemary would be nice here too.

If you are limiting sugar in your diet, using Lakanto's Golden Sweetener is a nice sugar-free alternative that is based on erythritol. If you are off dairy, skip the Parmesan cheese. You can also easily make this dish gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta, and remember to save a little of the pasta cooking water to thin and bind the sauce a bit, if desired.

Sweet Italian Sausage & Pasta Skillet:

1 (12-ounce) package bow tie pasta (may use gluten-free)
1 lb Sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 c. diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1 Sweet red bell pepper, diced, optional
1/4 to 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, chopped (or fire roasted tomatoes)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 to 2 t. brown sugar or Golden Lakanto, to taste (to cut acidity of the tomatoes)
1/2 to 1 t. bioSalt or sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnishing, optional


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to the water so that it is as salty as sea water.

Boil pasta according to package directions, until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet brown the sausage over medium heat. Add coconut oil if needed.

Add the onion and garlic, and the red bell pepper if using, and cook until tender.

Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, red pepper flakes, cream, and brown sugar.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the hot drained pasta and mix together well.

Top with minced parsley and serve.

Garnish individual plates with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Photos of the cooking process: