Baked Turkey Sausage Penne Rigate

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Makes 4 (1 cup) servings

Love the flavor of sausage but don’t like the saturated fat? Try our easy version that’s really not sausage at all but sure does taste like it. Enjoy it with a fresh salad on the side and you’ve got a meal to please!
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped or shredded carrots
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
½ pound ground turkey
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (divided)
1-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
½ pound penne or penne rigate (ridged penne)*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium low heat; add onions, carrots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not brown; add ground turkey, chili powder, fennel seed, oregano and salt and brown mixture stirring with spoon to break up turkey about 5 minutes. (Add 1 tablespoon additional olive oil if needed). Add marinara sauce and basil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in ½ cup mozzarella cheese.

Meanwhile in large pot cook pasta according to package directions; drain reserving about ¼ cup liquid. Add pasta and reserved liquid to sauce and combine. Spoon pasta mixture into a 1-quart baking dish; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.

If gluten sensitive, rice pasta of any kind can be substituted for wheat pasta.