Turkey Bolognese

There is nothing more comforting than settling in to a hot plate of pasta with meat sauce on a Sunday night. The problem is, depending on how you make that sauce, the meal doesn’t have much nutritious value. Luckily I came across a delicious recipe a few weeks ago where the typical ground beef/veal/pork mixture is replaced with lean ground turkey. Combined with the various vegetables and served with a leafy green salad and whole grain pasta, this ends up being a delicious and healthy meal. Probably the part with the most calories will be the garlic bread you serve with the pasta (which let’s face it…is a must!).

10 slices turkey bacon (6 ounces), finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 lb. ground turkey (97% lean is preferred)
¾ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (14 ½ ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup chopped parsley


1.    In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, cook bacon over medium until crisp, 10 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
2.    Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 9 minutes. Add wine and garlic; cook until wine has almost evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and oregano, cook stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
3.    Add broth and half-and-half; bring to a boil over high. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes more. Sprinkle in parsley and stir. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Yields 6 cups

Adapted from Everyday Food, Emeril Lagasse


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