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Cartwheels with Tomato Sauce and Turkey Sausage

Cartwheels with Tomato Sauce and Turkey Sausage

Your kids might very well turn cartwheels when they taste this robust red sauce dish. Smoked turkey sausage adds an appealing meat flavor while contributing less fat than most pork or beef sausages.


  • 4-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-1/2 cups (about 42 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon salt, plus 2 teaspoons for the cooking water
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound smoked turkey sausage, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 3/4 pound cartwheel pasta
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


Heat 2-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, pepper, and carrot. Partially cover the pan, then sweat the vegetables over moderate heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sausage (note: smoked sausage is precooked; do not substitute raw sausage). Cover the pan and cook the sauce at a gentle simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce simmers, bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually add the cartwheel pasta and cook according to the package directions.

Drain the cooked pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss briefly. Spoon one third of the sauce over the pasta and toss again. Ladle on the rest of the hot sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately. Makes 4 to 5 servings.