Thursday, September 3, 2009

Leaving My Comfort Zone For Turkey Pasta


There will probably never be a cookbook published with my picture on the cover, and I will probably never open a restaurant featuring my own personal recipes. I have never been an adventurous cook, and I am more than willing to stay inside the comfort zone that is the written recipe.

I guess I've been scared to ruin a dish or disappoint those seated at my table. It can generally be assumed that the creators of each recipe and cookbook have better knowledge of their trade than I do, so why venture beyond the security in those ingredients and measurements? Safe has always been good in this case for me.

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. This recipe was my first expedition outside my culinary comfort zone and has quickly become a favorite at our house. It is very, very simple, but a different twist on something you may already make. Plus, there are lots of opportunities to adjust it and make it your own.

Sweet and Sour Turkey Pasta:
1 box of whole grain pasta
1 package ground turkey
1 16oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1 26oz jar of pasta sauce (the chunkier the better)
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper
Fresh parsley

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground turkey in a large skillet with Italian seasoning.
3. Once turkey is browned, add the cranberry sauce. Mash it with the back of the spatula to break up any chunks. This will turn it into a creamy sauce.
4. After the sauce is melted into the turkey, stir in the pasta sauce. Use less than the full jar for a thicker sauce.
5. Drain the pasta. Toss with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and fresh chopped parsley to taste. Serve with salad, garlic bread and a big glass of cold milk.

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