Friday, August 22, 2008
Nothing cooks easier and quicker than pasta. I usually keep at least 4 different kinds of pasta in the pantry - the tubular ones (penne or macaroni), linguine, regular spaghetti and rotelli. My favourite kinds are ones made from whole wheat, they psychologically make me feel healthier (Jedi Mind Tricks). I also tend to keep a pack of spinach fettucine on hand for a quick elegant meal, just in case. There's always a recipe for each kind of pasta that you can whip up in a jiffy, for a last-minute dinner party or a satisfying meal at the end of a long hard day.
What I also usually keep in the freezer is some turkey tenderloin which I marinate in lemon juice and parsley and seal it in a Ziploc bag for some quick grilled or pan-seared turkey meals. This meal is a light, summery pasta dish that fuses quick cooking ingredients. You can use smoked deli turkey if you want to be quick, and if you don't have any fresh turkey on hand.
For a complete entertainment menu, you can serve this as the main course with some tomato-basil bruschetta, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or any dry Italian white wine, and finish off with some homemade rum and raisin ice-cream.
Penne with Asparagus, Turkey and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prep time = 15 mins
Cook time = 10 minutes
3/4 cup whole wheat penne
2 oz. turkey tenderloin, thinly sliced to yield about 6 slices.(You can also use 3 slices of smoked turkey deli meat)
10 spears asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch spears)
1/4 cup chicken broth
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to let it get too soggy. After they become plump and soft, squeeze them to get rid of the water and place in a small bowl with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the basil. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and keep covered in the pot to keep warm.
Meanwhile, spray a grill pan lightly and grill the turkey until brown and cooked, about 8 minutes. Likewise, you can also use a skillet and pan-sear the turkey.
In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Put in the garlic and asparagus and a dash of salt. Saute for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add in pepper and chicken broth and let the asparagus simmer for about 5 - 7 minutes.
Slice the sun-dried tomatoes into strips - don't discard the oil soak.
Cut the turkey into strips. Mix turkey strips, penne and sun-dried tomatoes in the asparagus skillet. Drizzle with the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle chili flakes and add in lemon juice. Toss to coat.
Serve with a generous amount of parmesan cheese on top.