I love Parmesan but if you're on a tight budget tangy Romano cheese is an ideal substitute at half the price. I use reduced fat cream cheese in place of heavy cream that usually appears in the traditional version.
Yields: 4 Servings
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 yellow onion, peeled quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
1 celery stalk, cut into thirds
3 broccoli stalks, peeled and cut into thirds
¼ cup tomato paste
1lb ground turkey
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cups unsalted, fat-free beef broth
1 bay leaf (optional)
¼ cup reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1lb whole wheat pasta
¼ cup Romano cheese, grated
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to package directions and drain. Set aside.
In a mini-chopper or food processor, chop garlic and onions. Set aside. In the same processor, chop the carrots, broccoli stalks and celery. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then add half the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions.
Cook three-four minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the carrots, broccoli stalks and celery, and cook for an additional five-six minutes until the carrots soften. Then add the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and cook two-three minutes stirring continuously until the tomato paste becomes fragrant.
Heat another large skillet over high. Add the remaining oil. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet and brown five-six minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the meat to the skillet with the veggies. Add the broth and bay leaf. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until the meat is cooked and the sauce is reduced by half (add a little water if the mixture becomes too thick). Turn off the heat, and slowly stir in the cream cheese. Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve tableside with the Romano.
Nutrition Facts (per serving) serving size about 2 cups: calories 501, protein 26g, carbohydrates 62g, fat 12g, saturated fat 4g, cholesterol 68mg, fiber 4g, sodium 516mg.