It was a dark and stormy weeknight. I worked all day, picked up my toddler from daycare and rushed home to make dinner for my friend and I.

Of course my friends and family are used to me trying out new recipes on them, so I got two thumbs up on this one. Even my daughter loved the leftovers!

It all started from a healthy and light recipe that I had torn out of a magazine months ago and then fixed up with all of my favorite things (mushrooms, sausage, extra cheese…so much for the “light” part of it).

Oh, and the recipe was dated from early 2011 — it only took me a few years to try it, but it’s definitely a keeper!

by: DAN PRED - Sweet & spicy penne goes great with cheesy French bread, according to cooking columnist Kristy Kummer-Pred.

Sweet & Spicy Penne


  • 1 box of whole grain penne pasta, cooked according to directions and drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 package (5-6) Italian flavored turkey sausages
  • 1 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 small individual container of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tsp. Red Hot Sauce or Tabasco (to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to taste
  • Directions:

    Slice open the turkey sausages and remove the filling.

    Toss the casings, and sauté the crumbled filling in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Drain off the excess liquid and put back in pan. Add the marinara sauce, peppers and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly and until mushrooms are tender.

    In a separate bowl, slowly spoon about 1 cup of the sauce into the yogurt to temper it. Then add the sauce/yogurt mixture back into the rest of the sauce. Add the basil, along with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

    Spoon the sauce on top of the cooked pasta and sprinkle with the cheese.

    Serve immediately – goes great with cheesy French bread.

    Cheesy French Bread


  • 1/2 lb. margarine, softened
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder or 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • Directions:

    Blend all ingredients together and spread over loaf of French bread that has been split in half.

    Put on cookie sheet or pan and broil until cheese starts to bubble. Slice and serve!

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