To keep the bolognese sauce on the lighter side, I decided to use ground turkey in place of the traditional ground beef. For an extra flavor boost I added a splash of red wine and a pinch of red pepper flakes. This turkey bolognese sauce is perfect for tossing with pasta, scooping up with Italian bread, or serving over spaghetti squash. 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.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- pinch of red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes ( I used San Marzano)
- 3 or 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, basil), chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and add the carrot. Saute, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes, then add onion, celery and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and season with salt and pepper. Cook the meat, gently breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until the turkey loses its pink color, about 5 minutes more. Add the wine and allow to simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bring it to simmer. Add the thyme and red pepper flakes and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions.
- Stir in half of the fresh herbs and cheese to the sauce. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Top spaghetti with the sauce, parsley and basil. Serve with more grated cheese on the side.