Let me start off by saying that not EVERYTHING you eat has to be extremely low fat or packed with every single vitamin and mineral that exists. Honestly. That saying “everything in moderation” really does have a good point to it.
That being said. I really do try to cook healthy meals most days of the week, but occasionally we want pizza or a greasy burger or a stack of pancakes and that is just fine!
The key point here is I do not do that EVERYDAY.
And if I know I’m going to eat a higher calorie dinner than normal maybe I’ll run a few extra miles or eat a lighter lunch than usual that day.
Balance. Is. Key.
My family loves pasta and sometimes you just want a nice hearty pasta dish. So tonight I made this oh so yummy Fire Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine and it was absolutely worth every last calorie.
The main culprits that make this dish a little higher calorie than normal is the sausage and cream cheese. I did use light cream cheese which helped a tad, and I have also made this recipe before using ground turkey or chicken if you want a lighter and lower fat version….
We all know getting toddlers to eat can be… well challenging to say the least, so sometimes higher calorie dishes are actually desirable in my house! I know right?! Oh to have the energy and metabolism of a 4 year old.
The point I’m trying to make here is you’re better off making a recipe at home this is a little higher in calories than you are eating out or getting take out. If you restrict yourself too much throughout the week, chances are you will totally binge eat one night (most likely on processed empty calorie foods). At least this hearty pasta dish is still utilizing fresh ingredients. 🙂
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
Fire Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine
A spiced up unique twist to your traditional pasta night.
- 1 lb sausage I used traditional savory pork sausage
- 1 cup roasted red peppers I used from jar, sliced – but you could definitely roast your own!
- 1 cup fire roasted tomatoes diced
- 1/2 lb fettuccine
- 1 cup chicken broth I used low sodium
- 4 ounces cream cheese light
- 4 ounces spinach fresh (~1/2 bag)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional (but highly recommended)
In a large pan, cook the sausage over med heat until browned and cooked through, set aside.
Using the same pan you cooked the sausage (do not rinse), cook the garlic ~2 minutes.
Using a blender or food processor puree the red peppers and fire roasted tomatoes until smooth.
Add the pureed pepper/tomato mixture and chicken broth to the pan. Simmer ~10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the fettuccine according to package.
Add the cream cheese to sauce, stirring until melted. Once the cream cheese is melted add back the sausage and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted.
Add the black pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked fettuccine. Stir to combine. Serve immediately!
If you are looking for a lower calorie/fat version chicken breasts or ground turkey are also good options instead of the sausage. If serving for little kiddos who might not like the spice I recommend adding the red pepper flakes last, after you dish up the kids!