Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Turkey Bolognese Ragu with Pappardelle

This recipe from a blog called the Culinary Chronicles is one of the few that make both me and my comfort food loving husband swoon. You know me...all veggies and fruits and fish versus my husband who never met an Italian Deli he didn't like. So we don't always agree. But on this recipe...best of both worlds. Turkey instead of pork, chunks of carrot, celery, low fat milk and onion so everyone is happy. Well, except the kids. Because they won't eat meat sauce. Sure, they will scarf down a steak, hamburger or unidentifiable hot dog meat. But somehow meat sauce is scary to them. But that is why god invented plain pasta. For wussie kids. Who will one day grow up to love meat sauce.

Warning: This is not a weeknight endeavor. Unless you happen to have a spare 3 hours on your weeknight. But you can make it on Sunday, serve it on Monday and freeze the rest for another weeknight.


1 pound ground turkey
¼ pound Spicy Italian sausage, out of casing (I used chicken Italian sausage from TJ's)
1 cup white onion, finely minced
1 cup celery, finely minced
1 cup carrots, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes (or less depending on your heat preference)
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup lowfat milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound Pappardelle (thank you Trader Joes!), cooked
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (I obviously forgot this as evidenced by the lack of greenery in the photo.)
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until softened but not browned. Add chili flakes and sauté for an additional minute. Add turkey, Italian sausage, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the meat and break into small pieces.

Once the meat is no longer pink, add thyme and bay leaves. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until all the milk has evaporated and only clear juices remain—about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until all the wine has evaporated—about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes with its juices and bring to a boil, then place the heat at the lowest setting. Continue on this very low simmer for 2 – 2 ½ hours, stirring every 20 minutes until you get a rich, thick meaty sauce. Check for seasonings and add kosher salt and pepper accordingly.

Toss the cooked pappardelle in Bolognese sauce and serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with Italian parsley and Enjoy!