This recipe was a great pick because it allowed me to cook with leeks, a vegetable I've, surprisingly, never worked with before. It also called for San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are, by far, the best tomatoes to use for cooking and sauces.
Although this recipe was very simple, it was full of flavor, and the sauce tasted much better than any store-bought sauce ever could! The ground turkey gave it enough heartiness without being too filling, and by using whole-wheat spaghetti, I kept the carbs at a fairly low level.
According to the Food Network magazine, one serving of this dish has only 493 calories, so...eat up!
Pasta with Turkey Ragu
Print this recipe
Recipe slightly adapted from The Food Network Magazine - Jan/Feb 2012 issue
Yield: 4 servings
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces ground turkey
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup basil, chopped, plus more for topping
3 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
12 ounces pasta of your choice
2 Tbsp half-and-half
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and turkey and cook, stirring, until the turkey browns slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 cups water, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, bring the sauce to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add half of the basil and the parmesan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Stir the half-and-half, the remaining basil, and 2 Tbsp cheese into the sauce. Add the pasta and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen, if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the pasta among bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of cheese and garnish with more basil.