Sunday, March 29, 2009

Turkey Meatball Pasta Bake

I have had this recipe on my list of recipes to try since October. After making it last night, I wish I had made it much sooner! This was really good. I would call it Italian with a southern twist. What else would you expect from Paula Deen? Being Italian, the idea of putting both red peppers and green onions in my meatballs is a foreign concept to me. We also typically don't add cream cheese or sour cream to our baked pasta dishes. Somehow though, the combination of these ingredients works really well in this dish. I saved time and used my favorite jarred marinara sauce. I would recommend using two jars if you go that route. Don't hesitate like me, head to your kitchen and make this one right away, your family and friends will thank you!

Past Favorite Pasta Bakes:
Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Creme Fraiche
Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Turkey Meatball Pasta Bake

Makes about 8-10 servings

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup panko (I was out so I used plain breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used a mix of thyme, basil, and oregano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 16 0z box rigatoni noodles, cooked and kept warm.
1 8 0z package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
Zesty Tomato Sauce, recipe follows (I used Newman's Own Marinara Sauce)
1 8 0z package shredded mozzarella cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend)
1 5 oz package grated Parmesan ( I used about 3 oz plus some of the Italian cheese blend)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan. Spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, green onion, bell pepper, egg, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, and salt. Shape mixture into golf ball-size balls; place on prepared cooling rack. Bake 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Lightly grease 13x9 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine hot cooked pasta, cream cheese and sour cream, stirring to combine. Spoon half of mixture into prepared baking dish. Top evenly with half of meatballs. Spoon half of Zesty Tomato Sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Repeat procedure with remaining noodle, meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Note: This dish can be made a day ahead of baking. It can also be prepared and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.

Zesty Tomato Sauce
Makes about 6 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced freshly parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Source: Cooking with Paula Deen/September/October 2008.


Anonymous said...

That looks great, I wish my husband would eat meatballs!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks good. Can't be Paula Dean without cream of some sort.

Penny said...

I must be hungry. This looks sooo good. The meatballs add a nice touch. Bless Paula's heart. She is a trip, and this looks like a keeper. Thanks for a good one.

Colleen said...

Yum - this looks amazing! Lots of great flavors!

Tiff said...

This was a great dinner! I am glad I found this on you blog.