Growing up my mom made the most delicious lasagna, it was so tasty that I almost always asked for it whenever she needed dinner suggestions. I adored it so much that she frequently made that beloved dinner as a warm way to comfort me. Comfort food then became my all time favorite. I mean look at the name “comfort food”, it even sounds loving. Almost as if it’s going to wrap it’s warm arms around you and envelop you in a warm fuzzy hug.
Fast forward to present time, I have my own family now who I enjoy sharing my own version of loving comfort food with. I wanted my meals to be so easy that practically anyone could make them, but savory and satisfying enough to make you believe that you’re a chef. I was on a quest to find something a little easier for my toddlers to enjoy on their own (without getting too messy). So I decided to put a spin on my mother’s famous lasagna by creating this palate pleasing Pesto Marinara Pasta!
Sure to be a crowd pleaser, Pesto Marinara Pasta takes everything you love about lasagna and delivers a flavorful punch with a twist! Rotini pasta, Marinara sauce, pesto, and just a bit of cheese makes for a wonderful dinner that even young kids will enjoy. Simple and savory with a pasta that’s small enough for both little hands and mouths! This meal has become one of my family favorites, so to me sharing it is like sharing a little warm loving piece of my family.
- 2 cups Rotini pasta
1 1⁄2 pounds of Ground Turkey
2 tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 cup diced white onions
1⁄2 cup diced bell peppers
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped baby Bella mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp pesto
1( 24 oz) jar of marinara
3⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3⁄4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Bring 8 cups of salted water to a rolling boil, add 2 cups of rotini pasta.
- Heat olive oil is saucepan, add onion, bell pepper, mushroom, and garlic sauté until vegetables are slightly softened
- Brown ground turkey to saucepan with vegetables.
- Add marinara, black pepper, sea salt, Italian seasoning, and pesto to the meat and vegetable mixture . Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Combine drained pasta, meat sauce, and half of both the mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheeses in a small casserole dish mix thoroughly. Use remaining cheese to to top pasta dish
- Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly around the edges.
When cooking pasta, be sure to add salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil before adding pasta. Promptly remove pasta when done boiling to ensure that pasta does not over cook.