Monday, March 29, 2010

Turkey Pasta Arrabiata

It's official. I don't like ground turkey. I have tried several times, several ways, and I just don't like it. First, the texture is gross. When I was crumbling this stuff into the pan, I nearly gagged. It was good-quality turkey, so I can't say I got a bad product...I just think turkey wasn't meant to be ground up. I didn't care for the taste, either. I liked the overall flavor of this dish, but whenever I got a bite of the turkey, I thought it wasn't great.
I would definitely try this dish again, but not with ground turkey (or ground chicken, as the recipe suggests). I'll just stick with my lean ground beef. And I think my red-meat loving husband would appreciate it, too. He's a real sport and will eat pretty much anything I put in front of him, but I know he appreciates red meat any way he can get it. If you like ground turkey or chicken (and lots of people do), by all means give this a try. It's a good, quick recipe. And if you're like me and think that turkeys weren't meant to be ground, try it with ground beef. Be warned, the recipe below makes enough to serve about 8. I halved it and had plenty for my husband and I for dinner and for lunch the next day.
Turkey (or Chicken) Pasta Arrabiata
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lbs. lean ground turkey (or chicken), no skin
28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice (I used Italian)
4 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 c. fresh parsley
1 lb uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup pasta cooking water

Start heating pasta water. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute 2-3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and saute just until the garlic begins to turn golden, about 2-3 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown.
Add the ground turkey breast to the pan and stir, breaking into small pieces, until the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and any additional salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta. Drain well, but reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add parsley and hot, cooked pasta to the pass and toss with the sauce to combine. Add a bit of the pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.


  1. i've never tried ground turkey in all honesty...the dish looks good though!

  2. Ground turkey does sound like it would be weird. Still, maybe I should try it sometime!


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