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Turkey Bolognese

Turkey Bolognese

We've stopped eating red meat at home for over a year now, but we never lost the craving for a delicious comforting bowl of pasta bolognese. My version using ground turkey is so good, you will most likely not even notice the absence of red meat. To add some more layers of flavor and a kick, I use crushed red pepper flakes and ancho chili powder. Browning the turkey is another great way to maximize the flavors, and I use the tomato juice to deglaze the fond and enhance the flavor.

Make sure to use good quality whole peeled tomatoes. My favorite is the San Marzano tomatoes that make for a delicious sauce.


1 lbs ground turkey

1 32oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

Salt & pepper

Fresh basil leafs


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on high heat and add the ground turkey. With a wooden spoon break up the turkey and sauté a few minutes until some browning occurs.

  2. Add the chopped onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and continue to sauté another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Pour in the juice of the tomato, into the pan, and scrape the fond with a wooden spoon. Using your clean hands, gently break the tomatoes into the pan, one at a time.

  4. Add the oregano and chili powder and season generously with salt. Let it come to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, occasionally giving it a stir.

  5. Remove the lid, stir and taste for seasoning. continue cooking the sauce uncovered for a few minutes longer.

  6. While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta of choice, saving a bit of the water to thicken the sauce.

  7. Transfer the cooked pasta into the bolognese and add some fresh basil leaves


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