Here’s what you won’t be adding to the pasta cooking water or the thick, chunky, naturally sweet sauce: salt. In truth, we missed it only as a finishing note. So if your constitution can handle a little sprinkling of the stuff, do so right before serving, per portion.
Serve with a salad of bitter greens. Adapted from Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook: How to Lose the Salt and Eat the Foods You Love, by Jessica Goldman Foung (Wiley, 2013).
Pumpkin Turkey Pasta
5 cloves garlic
1/4 white onion
Leaves from 4 to 6 stems sage (may substitute leaves from 4 stems thyme or 2 stems basil)
3 vine-ripened tomatoes
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (may substitute canned butternut squash puree)
1 cup no-salt-added tomato puree
2 teaspoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces dried pappardelle pasta or other wide noodles
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Cut the onion into small dice. Coarsely chop the sage. Seed the tomatoes, then coarsely chop.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, stirring to coat. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in the pumpkin puree, tomato puree, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the white pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
While the tomato mixture and pasta are cooking, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the turkey to the skillet and cook until the meat has lost its raw look, breaking up any large clumps, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to the sauce, then stir to incorporate. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Taste, and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon as needed. Remove from the heat and stir in the sage. Makes 4 servings.
Drain the pasta in a colander and divide among individual plates. Top each portion with a generous amount of the sauce. Serve hot.
Nutrition per serving: 450 calories, 34 grams protein, 59 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 165 milligrams cholesterol, 130 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber, 11 grams sugar