RECIPE

Cheesy Italian Penne Shepherd’s Pie

Can you believe this shepherd’s pie can be prepared for under $10? Try this blend of ground turkey and veggies in a creamy cheesy sauce tossed with pasta tonight.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound mini penne (or any mini short-cut pasta, $0.74)
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) ($0.40)
  • 1 pound ground turkey ($3.15)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped ($0.12)
  • 1 medium onion, diced ($0.69)
  • 3 medium carrots, diced ($0.51)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced ($0.72)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste ($0.09)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, divided ($0.72)
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning ($0.16)
  • 3 tablespoons butter ($0.33)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ($0.12)
  • 1 cup milk ($0.26)
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese ($2.00)

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Heads up: reserve a mug of starchy cooking water before draining the cooked pasta. Drain well and transfer the pasta back to the cooking pot.

While the water is coming up to a boil for the pasta, place a large skillet over high heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Once the EVOO starts to ripple, add the ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook until the turkey is nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the veggies and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken stock, half of the reserved starchy cooking water, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring every now and then.

While the veggies and turkey are cooking, place a medium size saucepot over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly so that the flour doesn’t burn. Whisk in the milk (eyeball it) and the rest of the starchy cooking water and chicken stock, bring up to a simmer and cook until thickened. Once thick, turn off the heat, add the cheese to the pot and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover the bottom of a large, ovensafe baking dish with the turkey and veggie mixture. Meanwhile, add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta in the pasta pot. Stir to coat, then transfer the cheesy pasta to the baking dish. Spread it out to cover the turkey mixture evenly. Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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