Baked pasta dishes …
Fresh basil …
Fresh herbs around the house is one of the BEST things about the return of warm weather. I absolutely love fresh herbs in my food and this dish does a lot of justice for the sweet, tangy basil plant.
Although I love pasta, boiled pasta and sauce can get real boring, real fast. This dish kicks it up a notch with ground turkey (vegetarians can easily omit this), mushrooms, tomatoes, and fresh basil all covered in bubbling mozzarella. Guests have really enjoyed this dish served with a green salad and whole-wheat rolls (and it’s very kid-friendly). Enjoy! 🙂
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into strips
- Mozzarella cheese to top (I used an entire 8 oz. pkg.)
- 1 (24 oz.) jar pasta sauce
- 1 (12 oz.) can crushed or diced tomatoes
- Cook your rigatoni in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- (You will need 2 skillets for the next steps; if you don’t have two available, cook the turkey first, drain and set aside, and then do the vegetables.)
- Crumble your turkey in a large skillet (but NOT the broiler-proof skillet you plan on baking the pasta in) and cook at medium-high heat until browned completely. Drain and set aside. While you cook the turkey, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and fresh tomatoes to the skillet you will bake the pasta in and saute at medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. Cook the vegetables with a splash of olive oil and season with S/P. If there is a lot of liquid in the skillet after cooking the vegetables, remove it with a spoon.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Add the cooked ground turkey and the cooked pasta to the broiler-proof skillet with the vegetables. Toss to combine. Add the pasta sauce and canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Add almost all of the basil, keeping a few strips to top. Top the skillet with the mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes until melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining basil strips and serve hot.