Turkey Orecchiette

This is a perfect week night dinner.  Quick & easy, two pans, and incredibly tasty.

1 box baby Arugula
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb orecchiette pasta (or any similar pasta: farfalle, for example)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated Parmesan (about 1/2c)


There are so many variations to this recipe.  Use spinach or any other spicy greens.  Instead of turkey, use ground pork, or even ground beef (just don't need to use so much olive oil).

(1)  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.  Add the arugula and cook for just 2 minutes (until the arugula begins to wilt, see pic at right).  Immediately remove the arugula from the boiling water with a slotted spoon into a cold water bath to stop the cooking.  Bring the pasta water back to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to directions.  

(2)  While your pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a saute pan.  THIS IS A KEY STEP.  Ground turkey does not have much fat in it.  In order to get your meat to brown nicely, you need to add some fat to the pan,  I use about 2 tablespoons to start, then when it's all browned, add a little more.  

(3)  Cook the turkey until it browns, scarping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go (these are tasty treats in the finished pasta!).  Once your meat is browned, check and make sure you still have enough olive oil to add the garlic; if not, add a little more - maybe a teaspoon or two.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir, constantly, until the garlic is sauteed.   Add the (strained) arugula to the sausage, and stir to combine.   

(4)  Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the water.  Add the pasta back into the large pot and add the sausage & arugula mixture and, finally, the parmesan.  You can add the reserved liquid, as needed - it just makes it easier to stir, and creamier when you add the parm in.  


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