This light and easy turkey, spinach and tomato pasta bake is a real crowd pleaser, and can be assembled ahead ready to bake when it is time for dinner!
- 250g (9 oz) penne pasta or another tube pasta shape
- sea salt
- 1 tbsp light oil
- 400g (14 oz) turkey thigh mince
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 x 400g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
- 100ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
- 120g (4 1/4 oz) light creme fraiche
- 30g (1 oz) freshly grated parmesan
- 1 x 125g (4 1/2 oz) ball mozzarella
- 140g (5 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
- 2 large basil sprigs
- generous pinch grated nutmeg
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 farenheit).
- Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the turkey and fry with a generous pinch of sea salt, breaking up with a wooden spoon for 5-6 minutes until all the water has evaporated away and the turkey has started to brown – don’t worry if it sticks to the bottom of the pan a little!
- Peel and mince or crush the garlic cloves before stirring them into the pan, cooking for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the chicken stock, using the stock to wash any leftover tomato from the tin. Season generously with salt and pepper before reducing the heat to low. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, stir together the creme fraiche, grated parmesan, half the ball of mozzarella torn into small pieces, the spinach, roughly chopped, and the basil, stems and all, roughly chopped. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of sea salt.
- Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce until well coated and spoon half into a medium baking dish. Mine is 8 inches x 8 inches, and reasonably deep.
- Dollop the spinach mix evenly over the pasta, then spoon the rest of the pasta and sauce over the top. Top with the remaining mozzarella, again torn into small pieces, and a generous few grinds of black pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving with a green salad.