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Monday, January 21, 2013

Florentine Baked Cavatelli with Ground Turkey

What a week I had last week! It started with a local book signing last Saturday afternoon and I want to thank the people that stopped by to say hello. It was so nice to see some old friends and familiar faces. I have to say, though I knew it was going to be a lot of work, I didn't realize how much time it would take to network and get my own book signings, though I'm happy to report I did manage to add another event to my calendar in February (visit the Announcements & Events tab for more information). From there, I had to go to a cheering competition at our local high school where Gab was competing and Rachael's squad was hosting (a.k.a. the parents had to work it). All was going well until my oldest daughter tore the muscle under her ribcage....yes, again. This is probably the third time she's done this and we know the routine. Ice. Alleve. Rest. Repeat. And they say cheering isn't a sport! The long cheering season (August-February) is taking it's toll on all of us, but thankfully the season is nearing to an end and we can see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. 

The kids had off from school for a snow day last Wednesday. We didn't have that much snow but it was that heavy, wet snow and where I live, if the buses can't get "up the mountain", there is no school for all.  Hopefully, the remainder of this winter will be mild; especially after losing 7 days during the Hurricane Sandy, so we won't be going until July! We had a wing at our local hospital named after us...just kidding! But we did make our 3rd visit to the ER in a month. This time it was Gab who sprained her finger in gymnastics. They had to splint it for a few days, but she's ok now...just a little bruised. To round out our weekend, we attended two cheering competitions for Rachael's squad where they took first place on Friday night, then took 3rd place on Saturday. The girls did a fantastic job and have been working so hard and it shows. 

We were supposed to go to another competition on Sunday for Gab's squad; however, some members of the team were either sick or injured so we had to cancel our appearance...there's always next time! It was actually a nice, unexpected break as we're all coming down with head colds.  We spent the day watching movies and had my in-laws over for dinner since we hadn't seen them in a few weeks. Don wanted me to make the Champagne Braised Chicken with Grape Tomatoes and Capers again since he enjoyed it so much the last time and because it was so easy, it was a wonderful choice; though I used a Chardonnay in place of the champagne this time. 

With all of this running around, I barely had time to cook, let alone sit to eat as a family; which brings me to today's recipe for Florentine Baked Cavatelli with Ground Turkey. I just love a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of pasta recipe that doesn't weigh you down and this one does just that. Cavatelli are a type of pasta that resemble miniature hot dog buns and though I know it's probably easy to make, I opted for the frozen variety to save on much needed preparation time. What I liked most about this meal is that it's loaded with some of my favorite flavors: garlic, spinach and tomatoes and by adding lean ground turkey, it was a complete meal that we could heat and eat when we had the opportunity to do so. 

Florentine Baked Cavatelli with Ground Turkey
1lb. Frozen or Fresh Cavatelli
1 lb. 99/1 Lean Ground Turkey
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/4 c. Red Onion, chopped
8 oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach
1-14.5oz. Can Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1-6oz. Can Hunts Tomato Paste
8oz. Water
1/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
1 c. Part Skim Mozzarella, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, leaving them on the al dente side; drain. 
3. Meanwhile, add turkey to a Dutch oven or large non-stick saute pan and brown; making sure there is no pink left. 
4. Next, add the garlic and onion and saute for another 2-3 minutes; then add the spinach, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and cheeses. Mix well then stir in the cavatelli. 
5. Place in an 8"x8" oven safe dish and bake for 45 minutes or until the sides are bubbling. 
Serves 8. 

*Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories 321, Carbs 35.8g, Fat 7.4g, Protein 26.1g, Fiber 5g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate. 



  1. I'll have to keep an eye open for cavatelli--I've never eaten it before.

    Thanks for a delicious-looking recipe!

    1. You can usually find it in the freezer section by the frozen ravioli or tortellini. And also in the refrigerated section by fresh pastas. Thanks for stopping by Kirsten!


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