Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
If you’re anything like me, any drop in temperature has me craving those classic comfort foods we all cling to in the middle of the cold winter weather. Don’t feel deprived while trying to stick to meeting those New Year’s healthy living resolutions because pasta is possible!
This week’s energy-saving recipe is for a super-easy, light, and delicious one-pot Arrabbiata turkey pasta! The starch released from cooking the pasta in the sauce gives the dish a rich consistency that really enhances the flavors at play. And while I prepared this week’s meal in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, feel free to use your preferred pot or skillet – just make sure it’s big enough to hold all the ingredients.
I swap out the typical ground Italian sausage and ground beef for lean white ground turkey to reduce the calories while keeping the protein! This protein exchange doesn’t affect the cooking time or energy use because any ground meat helps lower your energy usage because it cooks through in minutes.
I also replace half the usual amount of pasta with fresh yellow squash, and I also opt for whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli in this recipe). The squash is there to add a serving of vegetables, essential vitamins, and flavor while reducing the amount of carbohydrates.
This dish has a kick of heat in it from the chili flakes in the seasoning mix and the use of jarred Arrabbiata sauce. Instead of making your own pasta sauce from scratch, just go ahead and get a jar from the store – you’ll save you energy and time, while the sauce’s flavors pair perfectly with the seasoned turkey and fresh vegetables.
Once the pasta has absorbed the liquid and flavor from the chicken stock and red sauce, I add in sliced Kalamata olives, green olives, and capers for even more flavor! Garnish this pasta dish with fresh sliced basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese – dinner is served!
Seasoning Mix Ingredients:
- ½ tbsp. Garlic powder
- ½ tsp. Onion powder
- ½ tsp. Black pepper
- ½ tsp. Sea salt
- ½ tsp. Parsley flakes
- ¼ tsp. Ground oregano
- ¼ tsp. Red chili flakes
- 1 lb. Ground white turkey
- 2 c. Yellow squash, chopped
- ¼ c. Sweet yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. Pressed garlic (or garlic paste)
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- 8 oz. Whole wheat pasta (approx. 3 dry cups)
- 24 oz. Arrabbiata red sauce (from jar)
- 2 c. Chicken broth or stock
- ½ c. Sliced olives (Kalamata and pimento stuffed green)
- 2 tbsp. Capers
- 6 Fresh sliced basil leaves
1) Prepare seasoning mixture with ingredients listed above. Add half the seasoning to the ground turkey and mix together. Save the second half to add in with the liquid during cooking.
2) Heat your cooking vessel (I use a large enameled Dutch oven) over medium heat and add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and squash. Sauté these ingredients for a couple minutes until the onions look translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.
3) Move this mixture to one side of the dish and add the seasoned ground turkey to the other half to cook.
4) Once turkey is cooked through completely, mix it in with the onions and squash. Add the dry pasta and mix with the turkey/squash/onion/garlic mixture.
5) Pour in the chicken broth along with the jar of Arrabbiata sauce, and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning mixture in as well.
6) Stir all together and let this cook over medium heat at a simmer for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente.
7) Turn the heat off and add in the sliced Kalamata olives, sliced pimento stuffed green olives, and capers. Mix all together and let any residual heat in the Dutch oven help the pasta to come together.
8) Garnish with sliced fresh basil leaves and serve!
This dish is full of flavor and spice without any heavy cheeses, though you can certainly sprinkle on a little parmesan or Romano cheese as shown in the photo above for extra-special touch!
Check out some of the healthy Direct Your Dining recipes from earlier this month for more ideas on ways to lighten your meals for the New Year.
- Lemon Pepper & Garlic Buffalo Chicken
- Garlic & Rosemary Glazed Tilapia
- Southwestern Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
I will see you next week for another energy-saving recipe ready to spice up your kitchen!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan