Before there was spaghetti and meatballs, before there was tomato sauce with ground beef and Italian seasonings, before there was Hamburger Helper and bottles of Prego, there was ragù, a slow-simmered meat sauce that is heartier, more complex, and, yes, more comforting than its American counterparts. And that’s what we go back to in this turkey bolognese recipe.
Nutrition: 520 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 520 mg sodium
1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz ground white turkey
8 oz ground sirloin
1 link Italian-style turkey sausage, casing removed
1 cup dry white wine
1⁄2 cup 2% milk
1⁄2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 package (12 oz) fresh fettuccine or 8 oz dried egg noodles
Finely grated Parmesan for serving
How to Make It
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the ground turkey, sirloin, and sausage, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces.
- Cook for about 7 minutes, just until the meat is cooked through.
- Add the wine, milk, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf.
- Turn the heat down to low and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes (but preferably for up to 90 minutes over a very low flame).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente (usually 3 to 4 minutes with fresh pasta).
- Drain and return to the pot.
- Place on the stove over very low heat and add the Bolognese, a few big spoonfuls at a time, stirring so the sauce coats the noodles evenly.
- You will have more sauce than you need for the pasta (plan to use about two-thirds of what you’ve made).
- Divide the pasta among 4 warm bowls or plates.
- Pass the Parmesan at the table.
Eat This Tip
The Bolognese recipe makes more sauce than you need for this recipe (which is the point, because it only gets better the next day). Here are a few ways to repurpose the leftovers.
- Serve over soft polenta.
- Make a serious lasagna by layering no-bake noodles with béchamel, Parmesan, and the turkey Bolognese.
- Pile in a toasted bun like an Italian sloppy Joe.