Ahhhh……Fall. It’s a great time to cook and eat meals with a little more substance. Still, this one is a Weight Watchers recipe coming in at 4 Smart Points. It has a total of 12 servings. I turned it into 8 servings. I have no problem with 6 points for a larger serving. Well worth it in my opinion.
I wanted to use items that I already had. I always keep a good stash of Italian spices. My pantry is always stocked with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. What self-respecting Italian wife would I be?? I mean c’mon….haha!!
I use ground turkey all the time in place of ground beef. Not that there is a thing wrong with ground beef. You could totally use ground beef in this recipe. I don’t think you will be disappointed with either choice here.
It has a great flavor from the baby bella mushrooms and fresh basil. I would definitely serve this to guests with a salad and some crusty bread. It is good comfort food that is packed with flavor.
I made a few small changes to the ingredients. I recently discovered roasted piquillo peppers. They are a sweet pepper grown in Spain. I also love cavatappi because it has a cool shape and really holds sauces well. The increased amount of basil, really pushed it to flavor town. I always manage to have fresh basil on hand too. I still have some from my last summer planting.
So, without further adieu here are all the details.
BAKED GROUND TURKEY PASTA CASSEROLE
- 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, pre-sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz package of roasted piquillo peppers, drain and chop
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 C fresh basil, packed tightly (about 20 nice sized leaves) rough chopped
- 12 oz cavatappi, cooked for 8 minutes
- 1 C part skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divide in half
- 1/4 C grated fresh Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese, remove 2 Tbsp and set aside
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9×14 casserole dish with non-stick spray (I use Pam with olive oil)
- In a large skillet, brown the turkey, onion, and mushrooms on med high heat. Continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add salt to the water and drop the pasta in and bring back to the boil. Boil for 8 minutes. Remove, drain, and set aside.
- To the meat mixture, add the salt, garlic, piquillo peppers, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and basil. Stir well to combine.
- Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes so flavors can combine.
- Stir in the drained pasta, 1/2 C of mozzarella, and the 2 Tbsp of Parm/Reg cheese. Stir until is all combined.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the dish is heated through and bubbly hot.
**For 12 servings = 4 SP per serving For 8 servings = 6 SP per serving
Til next time,