Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce

Cover recipe- Cooking Light,    Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato SauceApril 2010

Cooking Light‘s April 2010 issue features 68 fresh and healthy recipes, including fast pasta and sausage, tacos & gumbo and super salads.  They chose to display their Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce on the cover.  This recipe is marked as one of the quick-to-make recipes, timed at 30-minutes.  The magazine gives you a game plan for getting it done quickly, including a simple mixed green salad to serve alongside.  A make-ahead tip suggests that you prepare the sauce up to three days ahead.  Hot Italian turkey sausage links, crushed red pepper, garlic, and fresh basil and Parmesan provide the basis for flavor in this pasta recipe.  If you don’t care for sausage, sauteed shrimp is offered as a substitute.

See my notes below for details on how this recipe turned out.

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Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce

Yield: Serves:  4 (serving: 1 1/4 cups pasta, 2 Tbsp. cheese, and 1 Tbsp. basil)

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25 min


8  ounces  hot Italian turkey sausage links
8  ounces  uncooked spaghetti
1  (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained
2  tablespoons  olive oil
1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
5  garlic cloves, minced
1  teaspoon  sugar
1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4  cup  torn fresh basil
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Arrange sausage on a small baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
4. Place tomatoes in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Add sausage and cooked pasta to pan; toss well. Top with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
5.  Simple Mixed Green Salad recipe:  Combine 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a medium bowl.  Gradually add 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Drizzle dressing over 4 cups of mixed greens and 2 cups of trimmed watercress; toss to coat.

The Game Plan for getting this recipe done in 30 minutes:  While the broiler heats... bring water to a boil, puree tomatoes & mince the garlic.  While the sausage cooks... cook tomato sauce, shave cheese, tear basil & prepare the salad.


*Hot Italian turkey sausage was tough to find.  I just bought hot Italian (pork) sausage, which I'm sure had more calories than turkey sausage.  I was a little hesitant to buy the "hot" variety, thinking it would be too spicy for my family but I bought it anyways.  Broiling it in the oven worked well, but I definitely cooked it longer than 5 minutes per side.
*I used whole wheat spaghetti.  My family can never tell the difference, and I love that it's a little bit healthier.
*My sauce turned out to be pretty thin.  That didn't matter so much in the end, but it definitely didn't really thicken.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 1/4 cups pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese
Calories per serving: 460
Fat per serving: 16.9g
Saturated Fat per serving: 5.1g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">895g
Fiber per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 24.4g
Cholesterol per serving: 57mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 53.3g

SourceCooking Light, April 2010

The results:

My husband and I can handle spice fairly well, so I dished up our portions and then gave my son a separate dish that didn’t have the spicy sausage in it.  He asked why he didn’t get any sausage… I told him it was spicy… and he wanted to try it.  Turns out it wasn’t too spicy for him, and he loved the pasta!  My husband and I enjoyed it a lot too.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Sure.  I get a little tired of seeing pasta recipes on the covers of magazines (they seem to make an appearance quite frequently), but this one was worth sharing.  I don’t think it really felt so fresh and healthy, but it definitely was a good choice for a quick dinner.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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17 Responses to “Chocolate- Mint Bars”

  1. 1

    Tracey — March 10, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    I love the chocolate/mint combo so these look fantastic to me! Even better that it’s a CL recipe :)

  2. 2

    Cookin' Canuck — March 11, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    These sounds like a wonderful, lightened-up treat to indulge in. Perfect for St. Paddy’s Day.

  3. 3

    A Bowl Of Mush — March 11, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    Ooh I want one now! Yum!!

  4. 4

    Jenny Flake — March 11, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    That last photo is so gorgeous! making me want a mint bar asap!!

  5. 5

    Sandra Simmons — March 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    THANK YOU for posting the WW points! I would love to make this but 7 is steep and would just multiply since I would probably eat the whole pan!

  6. 6

    Tracy — March 11, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    Perfect for St. Patty’s Day! Yum!

  7. 7

    Laurel — March 11, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    These look so delicious, and pretty! We’re featuring all things GREEN this week on the M&T Spotlight and I’d love for you to submit this.

  8. 8

    Evan Thomas — March 12, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    Yum! I would hope for a fudgier brownie but even so these sound terrific. I made a recipe similar to this back in January. Dare I say they were my favorite brownies ever?

  9. 9

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 12, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    One of my favorite things that my mom makes is a chocolate mint bar… that’s exactly like this.

    I just read your note that said that they’re good cold… YES! We always kept them in the freezer. It’s so much better that way.

  10. 10

    bridget {bake at 350} — March 12, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Oh, I’m so craving chocolate and mint right now. Have something planned for next week, but it’s not light….and it SHOULD be; I’m *trying* to be good! ;) Darn those WW points!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Lori!

  11. 11

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — March 12, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    I’ve been making a non light version of these for holiday gift baskets for yeasr. I’m anxious to try these and see the difference.

    One thing; that top layer used to be a problem until I started using a warm knife. Dip your knife into very hot water before slicing the squares, it should help to keep it from cracking without having to let the dessert warm up.

  12. 12

    grace — March 13, 2011 @ 12:09 am

    bliss. yes, these are perfect for good ol’ st patty’s day, but they’re more than welcome in my belly any day. :)

  13. 13

    anjali — March 14, 2011 @ 12:02 am

    These look so delicious! I have a feeling I’ll be making these someday soon.

  14. 14

    Jeannie — March 17, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    looks so good! I am so drooling !

  15. 15

    Heather — April 17, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Made this yesterday and I must say it’s delish!!!!!! Cannot stop eating this and I still need to bring it to my moms for Sunday dinner!!

  16. 16

    WEndy Moor — December 17, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    THESE ARE SO GOOD. My sister made them last year. Couldn’t believe they were “light.” So glad I found this recipe :)

  17. 17

    Pat Kachold — December 20, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    I call them Frango Mint Bars. They are one of my must bake Christmas bars.
    I’ve been making these for at least 20 years. Don’t remember where the recipe came from but they are a seasonal favorite of mine. I do make them on special occasions When asked. Everyone should have this recipe in their recipe box.

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