Turkey, Cauliflower and Pasta Bake

Here’s a reason to save some turkey after the holiday feast. Combined with pasta, cauliflower, spinach and a cheese sauce with a crunchy topping, this is comfort food for a chilly night.

8 oz (250 g) penne pasta (about 3 cups/750 mL)
3 cups (750 mL) small Ontario Cauliflower Florets
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
1 Ontario Onion, diced
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) dried sage leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each, salt and dried thyme leaves
Pinch pepper
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Ontario Havarti Cheese
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped cooked Ontario Turkey
4 cups (1 L) torn Ontario Spinach Leaves
1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and return to boil; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cauliflower; cover and return to boil. Uncover and cook for 2 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, sage, salt, thyme and pepper, gradually stir in broth; bring to boil, whisking often. Cook a few minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the cheese until melted.

In large bowl, combine pasta mixture, turkey, spinach and sauce. Pour into a greased 12-cup (3 L) casserole.

Toss bread crumbs with remaining cheese; sprinkle evenly over all. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: To change it up, try a sharp Ontario Cheddar Cheese or a hot pepper Monterey Jack Cheese for the Havarti.

Baking Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Nutrients per serving 1 Serving (When recipe serves 8): PROTEIN: 24 grams , FAT: 17 grams, CARBOHYDRATE: 40 grams, CALORIES: 411, FIBRE: 2 grams, SODIUM: 624 mg

Recipe and image courtesy of Foodland Ontario (www.ontario.ca/foodland/recipes)