This pasta casserole blows Bolognese out of the water

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Pasta Bolognese is a classic for good reason, but it can be a bit heavy. The casserole recipe below uses ground turkey in place of beef, and whole-wheat pasta stands in for regular. Veggies such as carrots and tomatoes lend sweetness to the sauce, and a touch of grated cheese over the top adds the comfort-food gooeyness everyone loves.
You can make the pasta sauce in advance to make dinnertime even easier. The day of, just cook up the pasta, toss it with the sauce, top it with cheese, and bake it off. Dinner will be on the table in 30 minutes!
Cooktop Cove
Turkey and pasta casserole
10 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 10 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds short, whole-wheat pasta, like penne
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
6 ounces low-fat, low-moisture mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil over high heat in a skillet. Add the turkey, season with salt, and brown on all sides, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion and carrot to the same pan. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
Add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then use an immersion blender to blend the sauce to your desired smoothness.
Add the turkey back to the sauce, toss to combine, and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the casserole.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, removing from the water 1 minute before fully done. Drain and set in a mixing bowl.
Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and top with the cheeses.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheeses are melted. Serve hot.
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This is the perfect side dish for the holidays or to bring along to a potluck. Even better is that there are no dirty dishes to clean up besides the casserole dish. Delicious food and easy cleanup – who doesn’t love that?
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