I could eat pasta every single day but I’m not a huge fan of red sauce. I usually prefer an oil based sauce or something on the lighter side and usually make a variation of this recipe! This is one of our go-to’s no matter the time of year. I love that you can switch it up with whatever flavors you’re in the mood for. The base always stays the same but sometimes I’ll add more veggies, mix in some goat cheese or fresh herbs and keep this vegetarian by omitting the meat.
Lightened Up Spaghetti with Smashed Cherry Tomatoes
your favorite pasta (we love this!)
fresh chicken sausage
1 garlic clove, minced
red pepper flakes
salt + pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Remove chicken sausage from casings and brown in a pan. You can definitely use pre-cooked chicken sausage and just slice, too! I just like the crumble consistency (and buy these at the butcher). Once browned, remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. This is really up to you in terms of flavor! You want these to sort of flavor the oil for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and let them start to pop. Once a few have popped, smash them using the back of your spoon. This helps create a light tomato sauce and is so yummy!
At the same time, cook your pasta. We like to use this gluten free pasta – it is so good and cooked in 2-3 minutes making this dish super quick. While the pasta is cooking, add the garlic to the oil and tomatoes. I like to do this step last because if you cook the garlic too long it will burn and taste icky. You really want the garlic to flavor the tomatoes and oil. Taste to see if you should add more salt – this is sometimes the case for us. I don’t do exact measurements!
Return the sausage to the pan then add the pasta to the sauce. While the pasta is hot, add the spinach so it starts to wilt. Add the mozzarella so it starts to melt throughout! Serve with parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!