I tend to write about a lot of rich food in this little corner of the web. Those types of dishes are my favorite things to eat and, truthfully, cook. But, I don’t cook like that every day. Otherwise, I’d need to invest in a new wardrobe.
My weeknights are typically all about being good so that I don’t feel badly about eating what I want on the weekends. Monday through Thursday (or, on a really good week, Friday), I’m always looking for meals to make that are tasty but light. This dish falls into that category. It’s simple and fast to put together, and you’ll still feel good about yourself when you’re done eating.
Goat cheese is my secret weapon when I’m making pasta dishes that are lower in fat. When you stir it into a sauce, it looks and tastes a lot like a cream sauce, but there is, comparatively, fairly little fat in a serving of goat cheese. (Bonus: my grocery store has a store brand goat cheese that’s delicious and almost half the price of regular goat cheese. Be on the lookout; maybe yours does, too).
So, if you’re searching for more ideas for your light weeknight meals, don’t automatically rule out the pasta dishes. They don’t always have to be heavy. With some turkey, veges, and goat cheese, you can still have a hearty pasta dinner without needing a nap afterwards.
But, if you want the nap anyway, that’s what winter is for. You just go ahead and take it.
- 12 oz. penne (or any short pasta)
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 medium cubanelle peppers, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp. minced fresh sage
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 (14.5-oz) can petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
- 3 oz goat cheese
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water with a handful of kosher salt to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large (12”) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the garlic, ground turkey, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir together, break up the ground turkey, and cook for 4-5 minutes until the turkey is no longer pink. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, and cook for 2 minutes to reduce the wine slightly.
- Stir in the tomatoes and the tomato sauce, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer – partially covered – for 15 minutes. Add the goat cheese, and stir until it’s blended into the sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, stir to combine it with the sauce, and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese, and serve hot with extra parmesan, if desired.