RECIPE :: Butternut Squash Pasta with Savory Turkey Meatballs

It's been way too long since I just had fun in the kitchen.  When we were first married I cooked almost completely out of Cooking Light Magazine.  I soon tired of it and at that point started enjoying experimenting in the kitchen with my own creations.  Soon children made this leisurely cooking experience not as common, or pretty much extinct, and thankfully Pinterest came along to provide a plethora of recipes to try from all over the internet/magazines/blogs.  It has been my saving grace.

We were planning on hamburgers this past Friday night but Stephen didn't know exactly what time he would be home.  So as I was wondering around Fresh Market, listening to what my cravings were saying, I saw this in the marinara section:

Um, yum.

From there I just let my imagination run.  We had pasta at home, and I knew I wanted sage {for some random reason}.  I was also trying to make this kid friendly so I went with turkey meatballs, and mushrooms cut up small enough that they wouldn't question them. :)  I also generally add spinach or kale to most dishes like this for the added punch of vitamins and minerals and, while the kids do repeatedly ask "WHAT is this GREEN stuff??", they are pretty used to it being in our food so they start ignoring it after a couple bites.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Savory Turkey Meatballs

- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese
- 1/2 t rubbed sage
- 1/2 t thyme
- s & p to taste

- 1 lb penne/rigatoni type pasta
- 1 bag baby spinach, chopped
- 8 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced/chopped
- 1 jar Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash pasta sauce {or similar}

Boil pasta water and preheat oven to 375.  Boil pasta per package directions when water boils.  Drain noodles.
For meatballs, combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl.  Mix with hands to incorporate ingredients.  Form into approximately 18-20 meatballs.  Place meatballs on aluminum foil lined baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.  Place in oven and cook approximately 10-12 minutes.  Do not over cook. {honest truth: I stuck the meatballs in the oven as it was preheating and just kept checking to see when they were done...so this is a complete guess! I also sprinkled kosher salt on top of the meatballs as you can see below.}

For sauce, saute mushrooms in a deep skillet until dark.  Add spinach and stir until spinach starts to wilt.  Pour in full jar of pasta sauce.  Stir to combine and let spinach continue to wilt.  Keep warm.
When noodles are done, al dente, drain and pour into pan with pasta sauce.  Meatballs can be also gently tossed in sauce if desired, or if you want to simmer them a bit more.  I did not have time to stir the meatballs in with the sauce and instead served them directly on top of the pasta.  It worked out great!
Top with parmesan cheese, and s&p as desired.  I also sprinkled some cayenne pepper on mine just for kicks!

This was an easy, and savory, dinner the kids and adults both enjoyed.


1 comment:

  1. Looks delish! Quite imaginative while being good for you!


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