This is the first dish I ever learned how to cook on my own. It's a shame that I'm only getting around to it now, though it has been a while since I made it last.
I was just starting out in the working world, going to college, and having to fend for myself out in the world. Luckily, I worked for a family friend at a small business, and she took time out of her day one afternoon to teach me how to make one the simplest pasta dishes she knew (but also something that could impress the ladies, if I remember her reasons correctly).
So this dish was thrown together in front of me in under 15 minutes. I was so shocked! Not only because it was so delicious, but because it looked great too. It's very light but packs a lot of flavor. A couple ingredients can, and have, been changed over the years (like turkey and sometimes the veggies), but the core of it remains the same.
I must stress one thing here: you MUST get freshly grated parmesan for this. It makes all the difference. Enjoy!
1 package of short pasta (penne, shells, etc)
1/2 - 1 lb turkey (or chicken), sliced into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
1/3 - 1/2 package of frozen mixed veggies (or a mix of fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly grated parmesan
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to instructions. I recommend salting the water a bit, as this is really the only chance to get some more flavor into the pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, press the garlic cloves and leave for 5 minutes to let some of the healthy benefits come forth. Then dice and throw in a pan and saute with 1/2 - 1 tablespoon olive oil until slightly browned.
3. Once the garlic has started to brown, toss in the turkey (or chicken) and cook until almost done.
4. Add the frozen veggies, and finish cooking the poultry.
5. Once pasta and everything else is cooked, toss together in the pan off of the heat, adding the remaining olive oil.
6. Place on plates, top with freshly grated parmesan and any salt/pepper/red pepper, if desired.