Taco Pasta Toss

by Heather on April 29, 2010

I was reading the Rachael Ray Magazine while on the elliptical the other week and this dish caught my eye. I love to buy ground turkey breast, but sometimes I struggle to come up with new meals in which to use it. This looked easy, I had all the ingredients and it was a fun spin on traditional tacos.  Although a lot of people aren’t fond of Rachael, I think she does a nice job helping people get in the kitchen and make things from scratch. The seasoning in this was much tastier than store-bought taco seasoning! All her dishes I’ve tried, which, granted, haven’t been all that many, have turned out great and are creative enough for me. I also like that she gives suggestions for meat substitutions and occasional shortcuts.

Since I had to return the magazine to the library before I got around to making it, I searched the Rachael Ray website to see if it would be listed anywhere. Lucky me- she even had a short tutorial segment on it from her show! This is a wonderful alternative to tacos, and you can still add whatever condiments you prefer. Although I didn’t have any, tomatoes and lettuce would be perfect on top of this, too.

Taco Pasta Toss, adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine (March 2010)

salt and pepper

1 pound penne pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1.25 pounds ground turkey breast

1 onion, chopped and divided

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

sliced avocado

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add three-quarters of the onion, the garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute then stir in the chicken broth.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with the cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with the remaining onion, avocado or any other condiments you like!

Makes 4 servings