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Friday, October 19, 2012

Sauteed Turkey Cutlets with Pumpkin Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

It's pumpkin season and I'm adding it to as many recipes as I can dream and cook!  Actually, it's not just this time of year, pumpkin is a super ingredient you can use all year long. It's just fun to post recipes that feature pumpkin in them as a seasonal ingredient during the Autumnal Equinox!  I haven't been in a cooking mood for a week or so.  We've been busy with events, a wedding, and I was sick too; the desire and time to cook decent meals was off my usual rotation.  I haven't made anything so inspiring to warrant a blog post.

Tonight's dinner is a riff on several other pumpkin, tomato and vegetable medleys that I've made over the years.  It's also a true use what you have on hand recipe.  A package of turkey cutlets, a few zucchini, a spaghetti squash from Susan Hill's garden, and a need to create a healthy, "clean" meal for a change!  I knew that I wanted to make a sauce of some sort to tie together the vegetables, turkey and whole wheat egg noodles.  A plain tomato sauce sounded boring.  Pumpkin, the super vegetable, to the rescue!

The noodles can be omitted for a carb-free version. Serve the turkey and zucchini over the shredded spaghetti squash with the pumpkin and tomato sauce.  Or omit the spaghetti squash if you don't have one, have the time to cook one, or just don't like spaghetti squash.  I wanted to use it and I like the additional fiber and vegetable in my dish!


Sauteed Turkey Cutlets and Pumpkin Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil - use 1 tablespoon at a time
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian Seasonings - divided
  • 2 Medium Zucchini - cut into 1 to 2 inch 1/4 inch bias cut slices
  • 1 Pound of Turkey Cutlets - cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Small Onion (about 1/2 cup) - Medium Dice
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (about 1 Tbsp) - Minced
  • 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian Seasonings - divided
  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash - Cooked and Shredded (see recipe here for cooking tips) - OPTIONAL! 
  • 1 Small 8 ounce Can No-Salt Tomato Sauce (or one cup of tomato sauce!)
  • 1 Cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper -  to taste
  • 1/2 Package (about 6 to 8 ounces) Whole Wheat Egg Noodles - cook according to package directions in a large pot of rapidly boiling and salted water


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, then add in 2 tablespoons of salt.  Cook whole wheat egg noodles until they are al dente - firm but not mushy.  Reserve 2 cups of the pasta/noodle cooking water.  Drain the noodles and keep warm.  Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.
  2. While the water is boiling and the noodles are cooking, make the tomato sauce.  Whisk together the can or cup of tomato sauce with one cup of pumpkin puree.  Add in 2 tablespoons of the Italian Seasonings, a pinch of salt and several dashes of freshly ground black pepper.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the spaghetti squash - cooking it in a microwave is faster.  When the squash is tender and cool enough to handle, shred the squash into spaghetti strands.  Set the strands aside until ready to use.
  4. Season the turkey cutlets with a tablespoon of the Italian Seasoning, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Set aside.
  5. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat until it shimmers, then saute the cut zucchini.  Cook the zucchini until they are tender and begin to take on some colour - about 5 minutes.  Remove the zucchini from the skillet, add them the cooked whole wheat noodles and keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet, add in another tablespoon of olive oil and saute the cut and seasoned turkey cutlets, sauteing until the cutlets are cooked through and well-browned - about 6-8 minutes.  Add the cooked turkey cutlets to the whole wheat noodles and zucchini.  
  7. Saute the diced onions and minced garlic in the same skillet, adding a bit more oil if needed.  Scrap up the browned bits in the pan using a non-stick safe spatula.  Pour in the cup of white wine and reduce it down until less than a quarter of a cup of wine remains.
  8. Add in the pumpkin tomato sauce and 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and heat until the sauce just comes to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the sauce to the noodles, zucchini and turkey.  Toss gently to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding in salt, pepper and more Italian seasonings.
  9. If using, plate the spaghetti squash and top with the noodles, sauce, turkey and vegetables.  Or in not using the noodles, plate the turkey, sauce and vegetables directly onto the spaghetti squash.  
  10. Makes 6 servings.

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