a penne for your thoughts

Wrap up a cozy winter get-together with this spicy pasta recipe. I gave a tried-and-true sauce some smoke and fire by adding a chipotle chile, and then I upped the flavor again with sun-dried tomatoes. Think creamy red sauce with attitude.

This recipe calls for leftover turkey, but it works just as well with cooked chicken, sausage or bacon. Mushrooms and spinach would be a nice addition, but however you tweak it, it’s sure to satisfy the craving for something warm and hearty on a cold, dark night.

If you can’t find basil this time of year, substitute chopped parsley — more for color than flavor.

Read on for the recipe…

Spicy Penne with Turkey

  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, finely chopped*
  • 1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup cubed cooked turkey
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • Parmesan

Boil penne in salted water according to package directions. Drain
and return to pot. In a medium pan, heat oil and sauté garlic for 1
minute. Add chile, tomatoes, cream and turkey and stir to combine.
Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add sauce to pasta and toss. Stir in basil. Transfer to bowl and serve,
passing Parmesan alongside.

*Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapeños canned in adobo sauce.
They’re available in the Latin foods section of most supermarkets.

Serves 4