I am a little bit obsessed with meal prep, I admit it. Given that it could save you probably about 5 hours per week, not to mention oodles of washing up, why wouldn't you take a couple of hours on your weekend to prepare as many meals as possible?
Today I had a lot of odd jobs to get done throughout the day so to save time I pulled out the slow cooker. I threw together a simple turkey bolognese and put some pumpkin on to steam while I ate my breakfast. 12 hours later I boiled some pasta, tossed it in the bolognese, topped with the pumpkin, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. Easy!
This Turkey Pumpkin Pasta Bake serves 8 and they are big servings too! I had a slice for my dinner tonight with a green salad and now I have 7 servings left that are in the freezer ready to pull out at and pop in the microwave as needed.
Turkey Pumpkin Pasta Bake
500g turkey mince
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
300ml tomato passata
1 vegetable stock cube
400g tin diced tomatoes
Fresh or dried basil to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
2 cups peeled, diced pumpkin
1 cup spirali pasta
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Turn slow cooker on to Low.
2. Into slow cooker, add turkey mince, garlic, tomato paste, passata, diced tomatoes, basil, vinegar, sweet chilli sauce and then crumble the stock cube in.
3. Stir well, breaking up the turkey mince so that it's a smooth consistency and combining all ingredients well.
4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook for a minimum of 6 hours. I did mine for 12 hours because time was on my side and I wanted maximum flavour. Don't cook it for longer than that or it will dry out.
5. Steam pumpkin, drain and mash. Cover and set aside to cool.
6. Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When turkey is done...
7. Add pasta to slow cooked turkey, mix well and press into a large casserole dish, Smooth the top so it's spread evenly.
8. Spread mashed pumpkin in an even layer on top.
9. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan in an even layer.
10. Bake in oven on 200°C for 30 minutes or until top is golden.