Tahoe recipe: Lean, mean, hot Italian turkey sausage and linguine | SierraSun.com

Tahoe recipe: Lean, mean, hot Italian turkey sausage and linguine

A thick turkey sausage marinara poured over linguine or zucchini will fuel your inner athlete during the competitive summer season.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

I tell you, give the Truckee-Tahoe athletes a little sunshine and they come out in force. The docks are full, the paddleboards are on cars, the bicyclists are in my lane (Have they not heard the right-of-way goes to the tonnage?), the dogs are keeping time with their masters on the trails — basically the hills are alive.

Finally, I just said, “Hey. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” and signed up for a mini triathlon called a “sprint.” I haven’t actually signed up yet, but I will. So motivated I got a road bike (OK, borrowed) and then brought home the book “Triathlons for Beginners.” (OK, again borrowed. From my local library.)

I am getting so close to committing to this thing, really close. Witness the following recipe. Carbs? Check. Lean protein? Check. Whole grains? Check.

I have decided to start eating like an athlete first, see how that goes, and then proceed to the running, swimming and cycling.

So far, so good. If for some reason I am otherwise engaged, like there is a “Jurassic Park” marathon on TV (what are the chances?) and cannot do the sprint, I will adjust, get rid of the pasta, and serve this incredible sauce on a big pile of sautéed zucchini “noodles” (see link below to my Veggetti column) and, yes, I will be hot for summer.


2 tbls. olive oil

1 tbls. crushed garlic

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 Jennie-O Lean Hot Italian Turkey Sausages. The sausages come in casings, so I slit them lengthwise, just a shallow slit, and remove the sausage and discard the casing.

One 24 oz. jar pasta sauce

One 19.5 oz. can sliced stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced green olives with pimentos

2 tbls. Italian seasoning

1 tbls. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. salt (more to taste)

One 16 oz. box whole wheat linguine noodles, prepared per package direction

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

chopped cilantro (optional)


In large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onions are soft, about five minutes. Add the turkey sausage and brown with the onions and garlic, stirring, until turkey is brown and crumbly. There should not be much fat, but if you want ZERO then drain this mixture and then return turkey/onion pot to stove.

Add pasta sauce, stewed tomatoes, green olives, Italian seasoning, vinegar and salt and cook over low heat until all flavors are blended, about twenty minutes. Once the sauce is ready you can let it simmer longer on a very low heat. It won’t hurt it.

When ready to eat, serve hot over linguine or zucchini Veggetti noodles — tinyurl.com/q5dfx3x — and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cilantro.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at simonegrandmain@gmail.com.

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