Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Turkey Spaghetti

Even though it’s summer right now, everyone adores comfort food.  Unfortunately, comfort food is always touted as a very heavy and fattening dish that is deemed satisfying by its loads of calories.  I have taken one of the most popular comfort foods and subtracted the “guilt”.  After all, how many people actually feel comfort after overindulging???

Turkey Spaghetti
 13.25oz box whole-wheat spaghetti
1 lb ground turkey
¾ c chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp ground pepper, divided
½ tsp salt
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 oz canned tomato paste
15 oz can tomato sauce
½ c fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning

Brown turkey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  When half of the turkey is browned, add onion and garlic.  Cook until all turkey is browned.  Sprinkle with ½ tsp pepper and ½ tsp salt.  Reduce heat to low.

Tip: Be sure to use ground turkey and not ground turkey breast.  It’s not as lean, but you maintain the flavor.  Ground turkey breast tends to be a little to dry for my taste.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, remaining pepper, basil, sugar, seasoned salt, garlic powder, red pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Stir until well mixed.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring sauce mixture to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Stir and reduce heat to low.  Allow sauce to simmer as long as possible – at least 20 minutes. 

While sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to directions on package or until al dente.  Serve sauce over spaghetti.

Tip: Whole-wheat pasta takes a little longer to cook than regular pasta.  Follow package directions for cooking but be sure to test the pasta throughout the cooking process to ensure it is al dente when drained.

I use whole-wheat pasta for everything now (when I can find it).  It gives a great texture to dishes and a more complex flavor profile than regular pastas.  It is also much better for you because it adds healthy fiber to your diet.  More and more types of pastas are becoming available in the whole-wheat version.  My next challenge is to find whole-wheat orecchiette :)  Let me know if you find some!  Bon appetit!

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