Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quick Turkey Bolognese

Do you ever get in a dinner rut where you make the same things week after week?  This was one of those recipes for me a few years ago until I decided to start trying new recipes on a regular basis.  It was a great decision because I've discovered tons of great recipes, but I sort of forgot about the recipes that used to be our favorites.  Now that we have a new baby, I find myself returning to those old recipes that I can make without even thinking about it (since I'm pretty sleep deprived and my brain isn't fully functional right now). 

This recipe for quick turkey bolognese is one of those old favorites.  It is perfect for a busy mama because it is easy to throw together and gives you homemade sauce taste without hours of cook time.

Start out by browning your turkey and onions in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.  When the turkey is cooked through, drain any fat from the pan.

While the turkey is browning, put the diced carrots in a small microwave-safe bowl with about 1/4 cup of water.  Cover it and cook on high for 6 minutes.  Using fresh carrots instead of frozen will add to the home-cooked taste and par-cooking them in the microwave allows you to cut down on the simmer time for the sauce.

To the browned turkey and onions, add in some garlic, the par-cooked carrots, a can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano), a little red wine, some Italian herbs (basil, oregano, & thyme), salt and pepper, and if you're feeling spicy a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Turn the heat down to low so that the sauce is just simmering and then start a pot of water for your pasta.  Your sauce will continue to simmer, with you stirring occasionally, while your pasta cooks according to the instructions on the package.

About two minutes before your pasta is ready to be drained stir about a tablespoon of veal demi-glace into the sauce.  I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma.  If you don't have any, the sauce will still be good, but I highly recommend picking some up.  It really adds great depth of flavor and makes this sauce taste like it simmered for much longer than it really did.

Top with fresh Parmesan and enjoy!

Quick Turkey Bolognese
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 20 oz. ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbls. veal demi glace (optional)
  • Parmesan 
  1. Place the diced carrots and 1/4 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high for five to six minutes.
  2. While the carrots cook, brown the ground turkey and onion in a deep skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  When the turkey is cooked through, drain any fat and return to the heat.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the demi glace and Parmesan.  Stir to combine and reduce heat to low.  
  4. Simmer while bringing pasta water to boil and cooking the pasta, stirring sauce occasionally.
  5. Two minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, stir veal demi glace into the sauce.
  6. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan

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