Skip to main content

Dinner This Week: Spaghetti with Sausage

This week’s menus include Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fennel, Shrimp Scampi, and Moroccan-Style Turkey Meatballs for dinner in about an hour
By Published Jan. 25, 2023

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Jump to a Section

Dinner 1: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Sausage and Roasted Pear Salad

Game Plan: Start by cooking the pears, then allow them to cool while prepping the pasta and remaining salad ingredients. Prepare the pasta dish. Once the pasta is finished, toss the salad.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fennel balances the hearty flavor and firm texture of whole-wheat spaghetti with a bold sauce made with sausage chunks and sliced fennel. Starch from the pasta cooking liquid thickens the sauce and helps it cling to the spaghetti. For Pan-Roasted Pear Salad with Watercress, Parmesan, and Pecans, we toss quartered pears with a little sugar and cook them in a skillet until golden brown and softened. Adding a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the hot pan yields a sweet/tart glaze. Spicy watercress balances the sweet pears and shaved Parmesan and toasted pecans add richness and texture. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Sausage and Roasted Pear Salad


Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter

The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.

Dinner 2: Shrimp Scampi and Pan-Steamed Broccolini

Game Plan: You will need two 12-inch skillets for this pairing. Start by brining the shrimp. Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients for both dishes. Start cooking the scampi. Once the shrimp is added to the skillet in step 3, start cooking the broccolini.

Our Shrimp Scampi recipe uses a few test kitchen tricks to ensure flavorful and well-cooked shrimp. First, we brine the shrimp to season them throughout and keep them moist and juicy. Then we poach the shrimp in wine rather than sauté them, so they cook evenly and gently. The tender florets of broccolini cook more quickly than its thicker stems, resulting in overcooked florets by the time the stalks become crisp-tender. For Pan-Steamed Broccolini with Shallot, we ensure even cooking by splitting the thicker stems lengthwise so that they are the same size as the thinner ones.

Printable Shopping Lists: Shrimp Scampi and Pan-Steamed Broccolini

Equipment Review

Flat Whisks

We tested six flat whisks, using them to make a béchamel sauce and a pan sauce for skillet-roasted chicken breast alongside the tools we’d ordinarily use for these dishes—a wooden spoon and our favorite all-purpose whisk.
Read Our Review

Dinner 3: Moroccan-Style Turkey Meatballs and Couscous

Game Plan: Starting this pairing by focusing on the meatballs and sauce. Once the meatballs are simmering in the covered skillet (step 3), make the couscous. As the couscous steams, the meatballs should be cooked through and you can finish reducing the sauce.

View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.


0 Comments

Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.