Mezzi Rigatoni pasta tossed with cooked ground turkey cheddar and mozzarella cheese served in a white bowl next to a red and white striped cloth

Meaty Pasta Bake

Flavorful ground meat and cheese tossed with tender pasta then baked with a crisp parmesan bread crumb topping!

When I was young, the dinner choices were, well, limited

In fact, if my wife and I sat and compared dinners growing up (I lived in New York City, she lived in Upstate New York), we would be very close.  Recipes back then seem to be more simple

We thought with everything going on these days we could apply that principle to the food we have in the household and build a deliciously filling meal

With any luck (and a little restraint from our teenagers) we might even get a second dinner from it

For this recipe you will also need 1 pound of your favorite pasta cooked according to the package instructions (cooked, drained and set aside). We used mezzi rigatoni

We are starting off with 1 onion and three garlic cloves that we will peel and chop

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Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat

Add in the onions and garlic and sprinkle with kosher salt and ground back pepper

Cook 4-6 minutes until tender stirring occasionally

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We were lucky enough to score a family pack of ground turkey (3 pounds)

You can use the ground meat you prefer or even a mix.  If you choose to use ground beef, just drain off the fat once it’s been browned

Add the meat to the pan

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Cook 6-8 minutes breaking the meat up as you go

Note:  A potato masher makes this a lot easier with ground meat

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Once the meat is browned we will need 1/2 cup of Worcestershire Sauce and 2 tablespoons of Gravy Master

We also have around 4 ounces of chopped baby kale

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Add in the Worcestershire Sauce and Gravy Master to the meat

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Add in the kale next

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Mix to combine and simmer for 3-4 minutes to start wilting the kale and to allow the flavors to meld

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Remove from the heat and preheat your oven to 350 F

Now we need some cheese

What cheese you choose is entirely up to you, we went on a refrigerator hunt and decided on 8 ounces of white cheddar, 4 ounces of yellow cheddar and 4 ounces of mozzarella for some stringy goodness

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Add the cheese to the pan

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Mix to combine

Since the meat is still warm it will help melt the cheese into a sauce

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Add the meat mixture into the pot of cooked drained pasta and stir and combine

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Pour out the mixture from the pot into a oil sprayed baking dish

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Next we will need a crunchy topping just to add more flavor and some texture

In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

We will also need a sprinkle each of kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley

We used dry parsley because we didn’t have any fresh

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Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the pasta bake

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Into the oven we go

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Bake for 10-12 minutes and then broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the top

Remove from the over and allow to  rest a few minutes before serving

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We served this in bowls sprinkled with a little crushed red pepper!

Mezzi Rigatoni pasta tossed with cooked ground turkey cheddar and mozzarella cheese served in a white bowl next to a red and white striped cloth

Enjoy!!!

Simply Sundays! ~ Meaty Pasta Bake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

3 pounds of ground turkey

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons of olive oil

kosher salt

ground black pepper

1/2 cup of Worcestershire Sauce

2 tablespoons of Gravy Master

4 ounces of chopped baby kale

16 ounces of shredded cheese (12 ounces of cheddar and 4 ounces of mozzarella)

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

kosher salt

Ground black pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

parsley

1 pound of cooked and drained pasta (your choice)

Directions

Cook and drain 1 pound of your favorite pasta.  Drain and set aside

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Peel and chop 1 onion and three garlic cloves.  Add them to the pan and sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Cook 4-6 minutes until tender stirring occasionally

Add 3 pounds of ground turkey meat to the pan.  Cook 6-8 minutes breaking the meat up as you go.  A potato masher makes this a lot easier with ground meat.  Cooked until nicely browned

Next add in 1/2 cup of Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tablespoons of Gravy Master and 4 ounces of chopped baby kale.  Mix to combine and simmer for 3-4 minutes to start wilting the kale and to allow the flavors to meld.  Remove from the heat

Remove from the heat.  Preheat your oven to 350 F.  To the pan add 16 ounces of your favorite shredded cheese.  We used 12 ounces of cheddar and 4 ounces of mozzarella.  Mix to combine.  The warm meat will help melt the cheese into a sauce

Dump the meat mixture into the pot of cooked and drained pasta.  Give everybody a mix.  Pour out the mixture from the pot into a oil sprayed baking dish.  In a bowl combine 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and a sprinkle each of kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley

Sprinkle these over the top of the pasta bake and place into the oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and then broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the top.  Remove from the over and allow to  rest a few minutes before serving

We served this in bowls sprinkled with a little crushed red pepper!

Cuisinart Boxed Grater

Architec Carving Board, Gripperwood

Mini Prep Glass Bowl

NuWave Flex Precision Induction Cooktop

Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Tagine and Extra Glass Lid, 4.5-Quart

ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch

KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher, Black – KN008OHOBA

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