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

15 Responses to “Flaky Dinner Rolls”

  1. 1

    HoneyB — November 23, 2009 @ 3:57 am

    LOVE your photo!! I’m making rolls this week myself and now I know which ones to make! Sounds like a winner!

  2. 2

    VeggieGirl — November 23, 2009 @ 6:11 am

    FABULOUS!! Love the little swirl on top :)

  3. 3

    Scorpio Woman — November 23, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    They look so yummy. I wonder if I could do them in my bread machine with the cycle dough. Great photo :)

  4. 4

    Sonja @ ActiveFoodie — November 23, 2009 @ 10:31 am

    I love homemade rolls, these are so cute with the swirls too! I’m even more impressed you still have a 2005 issue of Cooking Light!

  5. 5

    Deborah Mele — November 23, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Look great Lori! I have missed my Coking Light while in Italy the past 6 months. Great photo too!

  6. 6

    Barbara Bakes — November 23, 2009 @ 10:36 am

    Such a pretty roll and I love that it’s Cooking Light!

  7. 7

    Katie — November 23, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    They seem easy enough, but I always have a problem with dough. Freezing it between steps will likely keep everything together! Great idea for the holidays…

  8. 8

    Katrina — November 23, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    Love the flaky layered look. Maybe I’ll try those! Thanks, Lori.

  9. 9

    Laura — November 23, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

    Definitely gonna try these. I rarely meet a roll I don’t like.

  10. 10

    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is — November 24, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    Not only do they look delicious, they are gorgeous!

  11. 11

    Ramya Kiran — November 29, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

    lovely looking rolls! and loved your click!

  12. 12

    pigpigscorner — November 29, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    Nice shot! The rolls look super flaky!

  13. 13

    Kathryn Conrad — August 20, 2010 @ 7:00 am

    I developed this recipe “Flaky Dinner Rolls” when I was a Test Kitchen Associate for Cooking Light magazine. I am delighted to read such positive comments ! Lori – I think your blog is fascinating – I love getting the perspective. Best, Kathryn Conrad

  14. 14

    Marguerite Cote — November 30, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

    Do you deliver these awsome looking rolls cooked, or frozen, ready to cook?

  15. 15

    Lori Lange — December 1, 2010 @ 10:54 am

    Marguerite- I’m afraid I’m not sure what you’re asking…

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