Italian Turkey Pasta Casserole

Lean ground turkey tastes like Italian sausage in this flavorful dish

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounce bag of frozen spinach, thawed and drained well.
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded pizza cheese, or mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente (you want it cooked, but not mushy). Drain well and set aside.

In a small bowl combine Italian seasoning, 2 tsp salt, pepper and paprika.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, chopping it up with a wooden spoon until crumbly. Add the bowl of spices and continue to cook until no longer pink.

Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring to break up any large tomato pieces. Add the cream. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce.

While sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 425 degrees and rub some olive oil in a 13×9 inch baking dish.

Add the cooked rigatoni and drained spinach and stir well to combine. Remove pot from heat and stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the parmesan. Spoon mixture into baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheeses on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

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