Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Turkey

This is a fantastic and interesting twist on baked ziti.

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Turkey
  • 1 (5oz) container of fresh baby spinach, washed & chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage
  • kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese
  • 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Especially for dishes like this, where there are a lot of ingredients, I like to prepare everything I need ahead of time. Chop all of the onions, shallots, carrots, sage and spinach. Grate the cheese and measure out the flour, stock and milk. This will make your entire cooking experience less stressful and will really cut down on the mess while you are preparing the meal.

Add the olive oil to a large pan and add the ground turkey. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink.

Add the shallots, onions, carrots, garlic and sage. Season liberally with salt & pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until the carrots are starting to soften up a little. Add the chicken stock and lower the heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente.

In a separate pot melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Once the flour is incorporated, whisk in the milk slowly and stir until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt,1/4 teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Continue to stir until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Add the spinach to the turkey mixture and stir until incorporated and the spinach has begun to wilt. Add the pasta and white sauce to the turkey mixture and combine.

Pour the pasta with sauce in a large casserole dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Add the parmesan cheese and fontina cheese to the top of the casserole.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it is bubbly hot and the cheese is light golden brown.

Adapted From: Rachel Ray


Kim said...

This looks awesome! I can almost taste it now.

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