Turkey Bolognese

Neither my husband nor I grew up eating meat sauce, and we rarely order it at restaurants… so I’m not sure what inspired me to try my hand at making a bolognese. Regardless, I’m glad I did because it came out pretty well!

To keep the bolognese sauce on the lighter side, I used lean ground turkey in place of the traditional ground beef.  The turkey is added to a trio of sauteed aromatic vegetables and cooked into a sauce consisting of two types of canned tomatoes seasoned with a touch of red wine and Italian spices.  Since personal tastes tend to vary when it comes to tomato sauces, the amount of spice is up to you. I suggest starting with about 1/2 tsp of each seasoning listed in the ingredient list, and then adding more according to your flavor preference.

This turkey bolognese sauce is perfect for tossing with pasta, scooping up with Italian bread, or enjoying with both as us “carbovores” did for tonight’s dinner. I imagine that the sauce only gets better after a few days of sitting in the fridge, so you might want to make a double batch for leftovers later in the week.

Turkey Bolognese

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ground oregano, to taste
  • dried basil, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and chopped carrot and saute for 5 additional minutes.
  2. Raise the stove heat to medium-high. Add the ground turkey to the skillet, and cook, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes. Pour the wine into the skillet to deglaze, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  3. Add about 1/2 tsp each of the seasonings, reduce stove heat to low, and simmer until the bolognese is thick and reduced, about 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste during the cooking process. Serve over pasta and/or with crusty bread.
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