Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Great Italian Meal Without Pasta

If you scroll back to an earlier post, you will find a recipe for mussels that Tim makes with his homemade pesto. Recently, he made the same dish, adding scallops and shrimp. It is one of my favorite dishes ever. I am so spoiled by his pesto, that I just can't bear to buy store pesto ever again. And so yesterday when we were trying to come up with something for dinner, I thought of some kind of a turkey pesto. Tim thought it sounded promising, and suggested tomato and fresh mozzarella on top, like sort of a turkey Caprese. Perfect, I thought. So we bought the ingredients, he made the homemade pesto, and went to pick up Connor, leaving me to invent the rest.

So I sprinkled the turkey cutlets with salt and pepper, spread the pesto directly on them, then coated them with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. That turned out to be a good choice, as the crumbs really sealed in the juices and the turkey was very moist. During the last part of cooking, I topped each turkey cutlet with a thin slice of Roma tomato and some fresh mozzarella.

Now you might instantly think of serving this over pasta. But if you are trying to reduce the carbs, you won't miss the pasta at all if you use spaghetti squash instead. You already know I'm a fan from the post about Tim's mussels. But let me tell you- mixing the squash with more of Tim's homemade pesto and some freshly grated parmesan makes them out of control!

This is probably one of the most delicious meals we have had in a long time. I will attempt to leave a recipe for it, but it was one of those times when I was just "winging it," so amounts are going to be guesses. I will definitely be making this one again!

Turkey Caprese with Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
Olive oil, butter
Salt and pepper
4 turkey cutlets
Homemade or store bought basil pesto
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 thin slices Roma tomato
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella
More pesto and parmesan
Parsley for garnish

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast rind side up in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix breadcrumbs and parmesan in a pie plate. Sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper. Spread pesto on one side of turkey, then press into breadcrumb mixture until well coated. Repeat with other side of turkey, pressing more crumbs into both sides if necessary. Heat about 3 T each butter and olive oil in a non-stick pan on med-high. Add turkey. Flip when there is a nice crisp, brown coating. Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn heat down to med-low. Top each turkey cutlet with a slice of tomato and 2 slices of mozzarella. Cook until turkey is done and cheese is melted.
Meanwhile, scrape spaghetti squash in long strands into a bowl. Toss with desired amount of pesto and parmesan. To serve, put desired amount of spaghetti squash mixture on plates with tongs, then top with turkey. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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