Look what I got!
My old stove was really getting me down. It was crusty and hard to clean and the handle was cracking off the oven door. It was time for a change. For a birthday present (back in July) SPP gave me a contribution towards a new one, but I never got around to ordering a new one till last week. It was hard finding the model I wanted from a place that would deliver it to me. I finally found a place right down the street from my office. I'm loving the lack of coils to clean around!
Getting this thing installed was no easy feat. I needed to get my super to install it, but when he came to my apartment to do so, he found that delivery men had actually cut the connecting wires that attached me old stove to the wall instead of unscrewing the panel and actually removing them properly. Super had to go out and purchase some new parts. Even though I was off of work, I wasn't able to get much done because I had to spend so much time sitting around the house waiting.
So anyway, it was Friday night and that means I don't want to put too much effort into cooking. I wanted something simple and tasty and would use up that aging pile of basil I had in the fridge and the can of tomatoes in the cabinet.
I opted for pasta shells stuffed with turkey and topped with the simplest tomato sauce. The turkey was flavored with spinach and basil pesto.
I love my spinach-basil pesto because it's better for me than traditional pestos (pesti?) due to the nutritional boost from the spinach, but it's not overpoweringly spinachy due to the strong flavor of the basil. I sub out some of the oil for lemon juice, which cuts the fat content a bit as well.
Stir it into ground turkey. Top it with sauce. Stuff and bake. Add some shredded mozzarella on top if you're not Sir Pickypants.
I had a hard time photographing this artisticially. I couldn't get the shells neatly on the plate. I swear they tasted better than they look here. They tasted pretty awesome actually. SPP agreed.
Spinach Pesto Turkey Stuffed Shells
1 lb ground turkey meat
1 pound large pasta shells
Shredded mozzarella (optional)
2 Tbl olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine
Pesto (measurements are rough)
1 package baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4-6 cloves garlic (depending on size and how much you like garlic)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
Start by making the sauce. Heat the olive oiil in a pan. Add red pepper flakes and let them infuse. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant. Add the tomatoes and wine. Allow to cook about 30 minutes so flavors can blend.
Make the pesto. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till you have a gritty paste.
Heat oven to 350.
Mix the ground turkey with the pesto.
Cook the shells in boiling water about 5 minutes. You want them to still be firm. Put a little sauce at the bottom of a baking pan. Fill the shells with turkey pesto mixture and place in pan. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella if you're using. Spoon sauce over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.