Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy Baked Pasta

Yesterday was Monday. One of those Mondays. I was tired all day. Lacked motivation. And it was dreary outside. All. Day. Long. So, the last thing I wanted to do was spend an hour in front of the stove putting an elaborate meal together. When I have a day like this I always go to my trusted "one dish meals" - they're simple, done in less than an hour, and always satisfying.

Last night, I made a baked trottole (above) with ground turkey, spinach, and jarred (yes, I did) tomato sauce. I don't always have homemade sauce on hand, but I do always have my favorite jarred variety (below). I find that this brand tastes closest to the homemade kind, and it isn't like the other brands that tend to leave a chemical after-taste, in my opinion.

For additional vitamin value, I added a pound of raw spinach and used lean ground turkey instead of beef. I don't think my husband even noticed! Score. This meal was so incredibly flavorful and tasty. Perfect dinner for a dreary, lazy Monday evening.

Happy Eating!

Easy Baked Pasta
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Photos by A Toast to Taste

Ingredients Needed:
1 lb short-cut pasta (ex: penne, rotini, fusili)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 lb lean ground turkey (or beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb raw spinach
1 jar favorite tomato sauce
1 cup light sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink. Do not drain juices. Add garlic, stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add spinach, cook until wilted. Pour in jarred tomato sauce and combine with meat mixture. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and pour into large mixing bowl. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine well. Pour pasta into baking dish. Top with meat sauce mixture and mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve and Enjoy!

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