This recipe, I can only wish I created. This is one of our family favorites this time of year, but can be enjoyed at anytime. I give a big round of applause for Rachel Ray on a fantastic recipe, full of flavor and extremely filling. Better yet, she even gets my kids to eat more veggies, and who can complain with that?
I came across this recipe while watching her show a few years back and immediately decided, “This is what’s for dinner!” Sure enough I packed the car and headed to the grocery store in search of the items I didn’t have in my cupboard. You can create this meal for a family of 4-6 for less than $15.00, providing you don’t let your cupboards go like old mother Hubbard 🙂
Two years ago, I wasn’t Gluten Free. Today, I have changed that and have adapted Rachel’s recipe to make it gluten-free for everyone’s enjoyment! You can find her original recipe here.
What you will need:
1/2 pound mini penne or any mini short-cut GF pasta
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock, divided
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose gf flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded provolone (for a nuttier flavor, try 1/2 cup Asiago and 1/2 cup Fontina)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente according to package directions. Heads up – reserve a mug of starchy water before draining the cooked pasta. Drain well and transfer pasta back to the cooking pot.
While the water is coming up to a boil for the pasta, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan with olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook until the turkey is nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the veggies and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken stock, half of the reserved starchy water, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring every now and then.
While the veggies and turkey are cooking, place a medium-size sauce pot over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly so the flour doesn’t burn. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the starchy pasta water and chicken stock, bring up to a simmer and cook until thickened. Once thick, turn off the heat, add the cheese to the pot and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the bottom of a large, oven-safe baking dish with the turkey and veggie mixture. Meanwhile, add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta in the pasta pot. Stir to coat then transfer the cheesy pasta to the baking dish. Spread it out to cover the turkey mixture evenly. Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy this great spin on the classic Shepard’s pie! This would even be great for a new spin on the traditional mac and cheese!