Friday, January 21, 2011

Turkey Stuffed Pasta Shells with Homemade Alfredo Sauce and Steamed Broccoli

I wanted to give my crew a treat. I've done variations on this a few times.

2 turkey thighs (it's what I had, ok? 2 pounds of turkey meat or chicken meat is fine)
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 lb frozen broccoli
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
5 oz Parmesan cheese
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1 TBSP olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 eggs

1. Sprinkle thighs with lemon pepper and roast in a 350 degree oven till done. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. Remove skin from thighs, discard. Strip meat off of thighs. It's ok. There will be enough, I promise. Chop the meat up finely.
3. Chop red onion and bell pepper very finely. (I used red to add some color to this dish.)
4. Saute the onion in about 1 TBSP of olive oil (or coconut oil, or whatever)
5. In a mixing bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese until soft. Beat in two eggs. Add in about 4 ounces of mozzarella. Add in onion, bell pepper and turkey. This is your pasta shell stuffing.
6. Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and let cool until you can handle them. You can rinse them in cold water to help cool them faster
7. Stuff the shells with the turkey mix. Place in a 9x13 pan (or whatever you have).
8. Make the sauce. Melt the butter. Add the cream and heat. Do NOT BOIL. Add the Parmesan cheese, a little at a time, and stir as the cheese melts. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, turn off the heat.
9. Spoon sauce over the shells. Top with mushrooms, and the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 until melty and yummy looking.
10. While you are baking the shells, steam the broccoli. (I cheat and use the microwave...dump bag of broccoli into microwave safe cooking implement. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes.)
11. Serve. Sit back and bask in the complements. I did.

I made this Wednesday night (January 19, 2011). I used a 12 ounce box of shells. I had shells left over, (aka, not enough filling). I gave the extra to my pigs, but, you could just fix half a box or so. This did twenty-eight shells. Enough for dinner for four and lunch the next day.

Familial reviews:
Hubby: TWO thumbs up
Gymnast: Ya'll should be jealous. VERY JEALOUS
Monkey: It's VERY good and delicious.


Wow, that's a LOT of cheese, cream, FAT! Yeah, we like it that way. There are a couple of ways to approach this.

1. Ricotta cheese is WHEY better than cream cheese in the calories and fat department. I couldn't resist, sorry. (1 cup of ricotta has 342 calories, 177 from fat and 1 cup of cream cheese has 810 calories and 728 from fat according to the Calorie Count Recipe Analyzer tool.

2. Use some other sauce than Alfredo.

3. IT'S A TREAT. We don't eat this often. Which is a good thing, I'm sure.

3. Use low fat mozzarella and cream cheese.

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