I cannot believe how the temperature in NY dropped in a mere day! For those that do not know, NY has been experiencing a relatively mild winter with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. I’m not gonna lie, while most people were loving the mild weather, I was annoyed by it.

Sure, I love the not so cold weather, but the in-between has been wreaking havoc on my allergies. Everyone at the office is sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and blowing their noses till the skin falls off. Miserable, I tell ya. This weather is really getting the best of us!

I even got a gorgeous winter coat from my parents that can handle frigid temps and resist water! But I had yet to wear it.

Until now. 

Last night, armed with merely a thin pea coat, the temperature dropped from 50 something to 32 degrees – which is FREAKIN COLD when you aren’t dressed properly. Even the landlord wasn’t expecting the temperatures to drop so drastically. And coming home to a frosty apartment, I thought the best way to spend the evening was warming up in the kitchen….with a spicy pasta.


Spicy Turkey Ragu with Penne and Broccoli Rabe (inspired by my pantry)


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb lean ground turkey

salt and pepper

1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)

8 oz crushed tomatoes

dash of red pepper flakes

1 small bunch of broccoli rabe, roughly chopped

1 lb of penne rigate (I used smart taste)


In a large fry pan,  heated 1 Tbsp of olive oil over a medium-high flame (my burners are on the weak side- Medium heat if you have a normal burner). When the oil is hot, add the onions and stir fry until they start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the ground turkey and using a wooden spoon, break the meat up as it cooks the way you would a chili. After about 8 minutes or so, the meat should no longer be pink. . Add Fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. (I add the fennel to give it a sausage kinda flavor, but its totally optional.) Lastly, add the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring the ragu (because it’s a ragu now!) to a very slow bubble and let simmer for 20 minutes.


During the final ten minutes of simmering, start the pasta. The average cook time for pasta is about 8-10 minutes. (I like my pasta done right at the 8 minute mark) With 4 minutes left of cooking time on the pasta, add the broccoli rabe to the water with the pasta. When time is up, drain the pasta and broccoli rabe.

Remove ragu from the heat.


To serve, a heaping spoon of pasta and broccoli rabe and spoon some piping hot and spicy ragu sauce on top with a hearty shake of parmesan cheese.

It might be necessary to don a snuggie while you eat… if you live in my apartment. But if not, enjoy this simple and delicious dish.

Careful with the red pepper flakes… I always forget how potent they are and over do it.