Saturday, June 1, 2013

Taco Pasta

My May FPP Reveal post has me posting all out of order this week! So now I'm rewinding back to Tuesday...

I’m a huge group exercise/gym class junkie.  I need the extra push from class instructors and I thrive from the friendly competition between classmates.  Since I’m far less motivated when working out by myself, I prefer to go to classes before work.  This ensures I get a good workout in without any last minute work firedrills getting in my way! The post-three-day-weekend-early-morning-alarm was not happening for me so I tried an evening class, and it turned out to be the best NYSC step aerobics class that I've ever been to! So long Tuesday AM workouts – I’m hooked on this class and will try my hardest to ensure my day job doesn't get in the way of me attending in the future!  Why, you ask, have I focused this post on the amazing step class and my love of group exercise on my predominately food-focused blog? The downfall is that I don’t get home 7:45, so getting dinner cooked before KK gets home is impossible.  Luckily (not really), KK was stuck in traffic this Tuesday, so I was still able to whip up this Taco Pasta before he got home, but KK will now have to consider my late gym class when he’s menu planning in the future!

I didn't make too many changes to Amanda’s original.  Why mess with a good thing? I used lean ground turkey instead of beef.  If you don’t use lean meat, you might consider draining the extra fatty juices from the pan before adding the garlic and diced tomatoes.  I read somewhere that store-bought taco seasoning has a ton of preservatives and salt, so I made a large batch of seasoning using a recipe posted by What Megan’s Making.  For more flavor, I included the diced tomato juices and used less reserved pasta water to reach the perfect sauce consistency.  The leftovers might be tasty cold, mixed into a salad.  I’ll have to try that this weekend! 

Taco Pasta
Adapted from Fake Ginger
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

8 ounce small pasta shapes, such as shells or gemelli
Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper

1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with cooking spray, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink.  A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet.

3. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and half the reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.  Add additional reserve water if mixture appears dry.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.

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