Mediterranean Pasta with Brown Rice Fusilli

This mediterranean pasta dish is a family favorite of ours. It can be made in under 20 minutes which is crucial for a busy household. I hope this becomes one of your family's favorite meals as well!

What you'll need:

16 oz. package of brown rice pasta or other pasta of choice
12 oz. package of chicken or turkey sausage (Italian, Spinach and Feta, or Sun-dried Tomato sausage are all great options) **See my notes on label reading
1 can reduced sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered  (or 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes)
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp EVOO
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tbsp)
6-8 basil leaves (optional)
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package.

Bring a 6-quart pot to medium high heat. Drizzle pot with a little EVOO and add sausage along with 1/4 cup of water. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium then add in diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Next, add the baby spinach leaves to the pot. 

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves are wilted. Add drained cooked pasta to the sausage mixture. Pour 1 tbsp. EVOO and lemon juice over pasta, and stir until combined. Last, gently fold in crumbled feta cheese. I love to top this dish with some crushed red pepper flakes as well!

 **When looking for your chicken or turkey sausage, look for brands that only use animals raised humanely and fed a vegetarian diet free of antibiotics. The sausage should be free of preservatives, antibiotics, nitrates and nitrites. Ideally, try to keep sodium levels below 400mg though you might have to settle for one below 500mg. Some amazing brands are Wellshire Farms and Applegate Farms.  If you are having trouble finding brands like this, Publix carries their Publix Premium Chicken Sausage (Spinach and Feta, Artichoke and Parmesan, or Apple and Gouda) which are fairly good options.

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