Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Pastisio

I made this for dinner last night and could not wait to share it with you!  Yes, I have a backlog of a few things, but this is so delicious.  Also, a perfect transition dish from summer to fall.  The air is cooler, but fresh zucchini can still be found.  This is a considerably lighter than the beef/lamb version.  Ground turkey and lots of veggies make for a beautiful end of summer pasta treat.  Don't be intimated by the amount of ingredients and the step.  It is actually very easy and this is a complete meal.

Summer Pastisio
1 med onion, diced
1 lrg carrot, diced
1 med zucchini, chopped
5 oz frozen spinach, water squeezed out
3/4 lb ground turkey (90/10 or 93/7)
2 C diced tomatoes (1 15 oz can)
1/2 C dry vermouth (white wine or broth will also work)
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 3in. cinnamon stick
5-6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 lb penne, cooked 3 minutes shy of done
1/4 C chopped parsley
salt, pepper and oil
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 Tbsp flour (You may need another 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 C low sodium chicken broth
1 C low fat milk*
1 C shredded mild white cheese (jack, havarti, mozz, etc.)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C shredded parmesan (for top)

   Heat a little oil over med in a large, deep sided skillet.  Saute onions and carrots until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add ground turkey that has been salt and peppered.  Break up turkey and cook about halfway.  Add tomatoes, vermouth, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, bay, and red pepper flake.
   Simmer until liquid has reduced by half, 12-15 minutes.  Then add half-cooked pasta, zucchini, spinach, and parsley.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 5 minutes.  (Remove bay, cinnamon, and cloves.)
   While filling is cooking down.  Make sauce.
   Melt butter into oil over med heat.  Whisk in flour so there a no lumps.  Slowly whisk in broth and milk.  (*I did not have low fat milk so I used half skim milk and half buttermilk.  That is a really tasty option.)  Cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken.  The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon, if it doesn't, whisk in a little more flour.  Melt in cheese and add nutmeg.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat
   Take a small amount of the sauce (~1/4 C) and slowly whisk it into the beaten eggs to temper them.  Then stir in tempered eggs to sauce.
   Pour filling into a greased 13x9 dish.  Pour sauce on top.  Top with parmesan.
   Bake covered at 375 deg F for 25 minutes.
   Bake uncovered at 375 deg F for 15-20 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.
   Serves 6.

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