Hi, my name is Carrie and I love spaghetti.
Spaghetti is truly my favorite food. The noodles. The tomato and meat sauce. It just works so well. And I don’t just love to eat it; I love to cook it too. It got to the point during college where I was only allowed to make it for my roommates once a quarter, because I would try to make it every couple of weeks.
Growing up, my family always made spaghetti with Italian turkey sausage, instead of meatballs. We’re not even a little Italian, so we felt no guilt when we adapted the dish to make it a little quicker to prepare.
Some days, I wake up and know I need to make spaghetti that day. Today was one of those days. I had some Jenni-O Mild Italian Turkey sausage in the freezer, which was perfect. I did not, however, have any pasta in the house. I try not to have very much pasta on hand, since I tend to cook it, and then eat it. Frequent consumption of pasta is not part of the bikini plan. I may not have had pasta in the cabinet, but I did have quinoa.
I use quinoa all the time, and often with some pasta sauce. But I have never used it as a full-on replacement for noodles in spaghetti. I figured it was time to test it out. Not only would I get spaghetti, but I could feel slightly less guilty about eating it, since I was replacing carb-y pasta with carb-y + protein-y quinoa. Problem solved. It was time to cook.
When I make spaghetti, I keep it simple. Italian sausage, store bought sauce and some herbs to dress it up. It’s easy, and it’s delicious.To start, I sautéed some onion, garlic and crushed red pepper with some black pepper and oregano.
After browning the Italian sausage, I added the spaghetti sauce. I always use a sauce that is as simple as possible – none of this four cheese or garlic mushroom stuff. Just keep it simple. Tonight, I had about half a tomato in the fridge, so I chunked that up and added it in to the sauce too.
If you’ve never made quinoa, you cook it just like rice. One cup quinoa, two cups water, bring it to a boil, cover, and don’t uncover, for 15 minutes. Viola, you have quinoa.
I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about this all working and being a satisfactory replacement for my version of traditional spaghetti. In fact, I was relieved when it turned out absolutely delicious. With a small salad, some parmesan cheese and a glass of milk, I had me some healthier comfort food. Quinoa Spaghetti with Italian Sausage for the win!