Orzo with Italian Vegetables and Sausage
The flavors in this sauce are fresh and zesty, and it’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables in your fridge, such as zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, and onions before they have to get tossed.
- 8 oz. whole wheat orzo, or use other pasta (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion finely diced about 1 1/2 cups
- 12 oz. pre-cooked Italian turkey, chicken, or vegetarian sausage (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash quartered lengthwise and sliced about 2 cups, or use peeled and diced eggplant
- 15 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning or use a combination of basil and oregano
- 2 - 3 oz. baby spinach (a large handful)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Cook the orzo according to the package directions. (Note that this recipe calls for half a package. If you cook the whole thing, use half for picky eaters or tomorrow's lunch.)
- Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, and sauté them for about 2 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic, and zucchini and cook it for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the sausage is starting to brown.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and Italian seasoning, bring it to a boil, and simmer it for about 10 minutes, covered, reducing the heat if necessary to keep it at a simmer, until the pasta is cooked.
- Add the spinach and basil (optional), cover the pan for about 2 minutes until the spinach wilts, and stir it into the sauce.
- Serve the sauce immediately over the orzo and topped with the Parmesan cheese, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the orzo and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, dice the onion, slice the sausage and refrigerate, peel the garlic, slice the zucchini, grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish. Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes along with the Italian seasonings. Tip: Are you wondering why Popeye had such a clear complexion? Spinach contains vitamin A, which protects skin from UV ray damage and encourages healthy cell turnover. So eat your spinach and your skin will look radiant! Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 300, Total Fat: 10g, 14.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13%; Cholesterol: 41mg, 13.5%; Sodium: 691mg, 29%; Total Carbohydrate: 38g, 12.5%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 15.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 19g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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