I had a turkey breast roast in the fridge that needed cooking. Normally I would roast it in the oven and serve with stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc etc... yawn yawn boring! I wanted to do something different tonight. Something italian perhaps?
I thought about the ingredients I had on hand. Thought perhaps I would do an italian sausage stuffed turkey breast, bread it, sear it, roast it. And serve with some type of pasta.
Great plan, huh? Well, even good cooks are thwarted once in awhile. This is what happened when I pulled off the netting from the turkey breast.
That's not going to work so well with my stuffed turkey breast!
So I had to think of something else. Here's what I came up with.
In a dish, melt some butter. I used 1/4 cup.
Before we go any further, we need to prep some things. Mince 1-2 cloves garlic, seed and dice a couple roma tomatoes, mince 1-2 shallots, and chop some parsley.
I had some frozen spinach. Put it in a sieve and run cold water over it until it's thawed. Squeeze all the water out and set aside.
Put the cut up turkey in the melted butter. Coat all of the pieces.
Put them in a large ziploc baggie.
Dump in some italian seasoned bread crumbs and shake to coat.
Heat olive oil in a pan and brown the turkey pieces on each side.
Pull the turkey from the pan as each piece browns and put in a baking dish. Put this dish in a 350* oven to finish cooking the meat through.
Take some bowtie pasta (also known as farfalle) and boil according to directions on the package. I used the entire box.
In a pot, put some water in. Bring to boil and add some chopped up asparagus. Cook only a couple minutes.
After those 2 minutes are up, use a serrated spoon to pull from the hot water and put immediately into a bowl of ice water. This is called an ice bath and it will help stop the cooking and electrify the color.
Drain the water.
In a skillet, heat some olive oil. Sautee the garlic and shallots. Add a teaspoon oregano, basil, and about 1/2 tsp fennel seeds. The heat of the pan draws out the flavor in the herbs. After you've sauteed the spices for a minute, add the asparagus, tomato, and spinach. Sautee another minute or two.
Add 1 can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup burgundy wine, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook over medium high heat for two minutes.
Dump in your cooked, strained pasta and stir to coat.
In a bowl mix together 1 cup cream and 1 Tbsp flour. Whisk together until lumps are gone. Add to the pasta and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grate some fresh parmesan cheese and put in the pasta. Add the parsley at this time too. Mix well.
To serve: Plate the pasta and put the turkey on top. Sprinkle with some reserved grated parmesan cheese.
Serve with salad and bread.
Chef notes -- this was a recipe that I just threw together in my head. I used ingredients that I had on hand. If I had to make this again (which I will), I wouldn't bread or cook the turkey the way I did. I would have left it uncoated and sauteed in the pan with the asparagus, tomato, and spinach and let it basically sear then braise in the sauces. I think the turkey would have had more flavor. I also would have cut the turkey into smaller bite-size pieces.
The pasta, however, was fabulous. I could have eaten half the pan myself. In fact, if I was wanting a meatless dish, this would be perfect. Lots of flavor.