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Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, White Beans, Spinach and Turkey Meatballs

This is Italian home made comfort food at its best, but it’s healthy and nutritious for you!

Ingredients:

1 pound of whole wheat penne pasta

1 lb organic ground turkey

1/4 cup of dried breadcrumbs – home made if possible

1/2 cup of good quality parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley

1 cube of frozen basil from TJ’s – or a few leaves of fresh basil.

1 cube of frozen chopped garlic from TJ’s – or 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic chopped.

2 large organic eggs, slightly beaten

2 tblsp low fat milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 can of cannelini beans rinsed and set aside

1/2 bag of organic frozen chopped spinach drained, thawed and excess moisture squeezed out and set aside.

1 large can of organic diced tomatoes – no or low sodium

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of cheese and salt and pepper.  Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.  Shape the meat mixture into bite size meat balls.

Heat water in a large stock pot with 1 tblsp of salt and cook pasta until al dente about 10-12 minutes, then drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.  Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving or turning the meatballs until brown on the bottom, about three minutes.  Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about three minutes longer.  Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown.  Add the diced tomatoes, frozen garlic and basil and bring to a low simmer until the flavors have blended, about five minutes.

At the last minute, add spinach and beans to meatball tomato mixture.

Transfer pasta to a large bowl and pour meatball mixture into pasta and stir gently.

Transfer to pasta bowls, serve and enjoy!

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