Quick and versitile pasta dish

Why do I always forget that my husband changes shifts until the morning that he changes?  He has been working a day shift which means dinner time for him is around 6:30 pm.   This shift change means he won’t come home until I am ready for bed.  Dinner needs to be made and ready by 11 am the morning he goes to work.  I had planned to make a turkey pot pie that will last for two days.  Yes, I still have turkey left over from Thanksgiving.  I forgot to set the turkey out to thaw and it was 10 am.  I thought about cooking eggs and toast, but he has been making that for breakfast lately.

Then it came to me!  A quick, healthy meal that is also filling and used up most of the last of the turkey.  The quick meal is Turkey Pasta.   So versatile and easy.  You can change up the pasta, meat, veggies, and herbs.
I have made this with chicken, shrimp, scallops, crab meat, turkey, and diced pork.  I have not made it with ground beef or beef, but I am sure you could.

The pasta I used was rotini.  We just like it, but you could use any kind you can think of or have on hand.  White or whole wheat too.

The base veggies I use are just sauteed minced garlic and diced onions.  Today I used a yellow pepper also. I use about 4 to 5 cloves of garlic. We love garlic, but you could use less or more.  Then a medium onion diced.  You can add more or less onion according to your taste.

I added 1/2 a bag of mixed vegetables consisting of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  I have used zucchini, yellow squash, fresh broccoli, frozen stir fry mixes, and mushrooms.  The mushrooms can be fresh or canned.  I mean you could use anything. Squash, eggplant, beans, or anything else you want.  The only limit is your imagination.

The same can be said for the spices.  I used kosher salt, pepper, marjoram, and cardamon.  I have used Italian seasoning, rosemary, basil, oregano, poultry seasoning, herbs de provence, and Tuscan seasoning. I usually just let the spice cupboard be my guide.  I look inside and use whatever sounds good to me.

Turkey Pasta
Cooked Turkey (or other meat, seafood, or tofu)
onions, diced
garlic, minced
green pepper, diced (or red peppers, yellow peppers, or omit)
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
2 cups frozen veggies more or less depending on what you want to add.  Or 2 cups or so of fresh or          combination of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables.
salt and pepper to taste,
herbs to taste
2 cups of pasta
dash of Worcestershire sauce optional
1 can of diced tomatoes optional

1.     Saute onions, garlic, and peppers in a tablespoon of olive oil until the texture you like in a very large skillet.  You will be leaving this in the pan so cook a until  the onions are a little soft.  Use medium setting on stove.  If using fresh mushrooms add now.
2.     Add meat and add veggies if the veggies are fresh or frozen.  Cook until the veggies are softer or no longer frozen.  Add water if the mixture is sticking to pan.
3.     While meat and veggies are cooking start pasta according to package directions.  When you add the pasta to the water add any canned veggies and simmer.  Add tomatoes if you want. Now season per your taste.  Remember to add in small amounts as you can always add, but can’t take the herbs, salt , and pepper out.
4.  When pasta is nearly done. About one minute left to go, take pasta out of boiling water and add to pan with veggie meat mixture and stir.  Simmer for about 1 minute.  Serve with Parmesion Cheese and crusty bread.

This is very easy to make as a vegetarian meal too.


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