It’s a very strange day when I crave something creamy. Maybe it’s because I can feel winter barreling at me like a runaway train, or maybe it’s because of all those delicious looking cream-based soups in the sandwich shop I always walk past but can’t eat because, well, because they’re cream. Either way, tonight I wanted to be a part of the lucky dairy-eating-and-don’t-have-to-think-twice-about-it club.
So, as sort of a compromise between my drooling tastebuds and sense of self-preservation I made a lightened cream-like pasta sauce in which I mixed a slew of other healthy ingredients, making for an extremely well-balanced meal: extra-lean ground turkey, mushrooms, spinach, leeks, garlic and whole wheat spaghetti.
This isn’t an thick and oozy cream sauce, but rather one that just coats the noodles and ground turkey, creating delicious savory flavors and a clean mouthfeel.
And for the heck of it, I took out some of the filling just before adding the soy creamer which I used to stuff a buttercup squash and bake. That experiment is dinner tomorrow… I’ll let you know how it is.
Here’s the recipe:
Almost-Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Turkey, Mushrooms & Spinach – serves 4
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 leek, white part only, chopped small
6 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
2 cups baby spinach, washed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup milk or soy creamer
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese, garnish
Fill a large pot with water and set it over high heat to bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, add a large pinch of salt and the spaghetti noodles; cook the pasta according to package instructions.
To make the sauce, set a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic become fragrant, stir in the leeks. Cook the leeks and garlic for 3 minutes or until soft, stirring often.
Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the ground turkey. Increase the heat to medium and use a wooden spoon to break the turkey into small pieces while cooking, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. By now the ground turkey should be almost completely cooked through.
Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and rosemary, then pour in the wine and lemon juice. Simmer the liquid for 1 minute then add the milk or soy creamer. Simmer again for 1 minute then sprinkle the flour into the pan and mix well until it’s completely incorporated. Cook the sauce 2 minutes longer then add the butter and stir until it melts. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss gently to coat. Divide the spaghetti between four plates and serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.