Italian-Style Skillet Casserole

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_FHC3717It's Pasta Month! Ready for a great new recipe?

It's rare to see new recipes for casseroles these days. Often, I think they have too many steps and take too long to make. But I love a good casserole, which is why I'm breaking out this modern one-pot adaptation* that will help you get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Italian Skillet Casserole

  • 3 cups penne (we used whole wheat penne), cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced or paste
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 cup bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh fennel
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) of lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced, no-salt-added tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Handful of spinach

Cook the pasta while you are chopping the vegetables.

Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven or paella pan. Saute the onion and garlic until nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the grated carrots, bell pepper, and fennel. Stir and cook (covered) for a few more minutes.

Add the broth and turkey. Chop the turkey into small pieces in the pan with your cooking spoon. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes and seasonings. Cook for 10 minutes or until the turkey is done and the sauce is a little thick.

Add the spinach last and top with a little Parmesan cheese. Turn off the stove and allow to sit while you set the table and make a salad... perhaps like the one below?

Easy Lemon Salad

  • 8 cups mixed fresh greens (we used red leaf, arugula and spinach)
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Toss and serve.

We served this dinner with toasted sourdough bread. The casserole looks especially nice in a French onion soup bowl.


* Well, it's one-pot after you cook the pasta, but still. It doesn't dirty many of your kitchen tools.

by Judy Doherty, PC II

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