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Italian Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Cavatappi Pasta ( or any kind of pasta)
  • 1 cup Basil Pesto
  • 1-½ cup Freshly Grated Asiago Cheese, Divided
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey Or Sirloin
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 1 can (15 Oz. Size) Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
  • 1 bag (about 5 To 6 Oz. Size) Baby Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season generously with kosher salt. Add pasta and cook to just shy of al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water. To the drained pasta, add the pesto and 1 cup Asiago cheese and mix.

Meanwhile, over medium heat cook the ground turkey and garlic until the turkey is fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the entire can of tomatoes and stir. Place all the spinach on top of the simmering tomato and turkey mixture; reduce heat and cover to cook the spinach about 2-3 minutes. Next, add the pesto pasta to the tomato mixture and toss. If desired, add a little of the pasta water to thin out the sauce.

Immediately add the pasta to a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. For more texture, sprinkle with a cup of panko bread crumbs and drizzle with a little olive oil. (This step is totally optional.)

Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven until the top is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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