Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Turkey Bolognese

Here's a quick, reasonably healthy dinner for your weeknight cooking repertoire.  Bolognese is a hearty Italian classic, which I lightened by using ground turkey rather than the usual combination of ground chuck, veal, and pancetta. Carrots, celery, and onion are the classic veggie trifecta in Bolognese and without lending overhwelming flavor, they bulk up the sauce nicely.

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; many of these things you probably have on hand.  I used a fairly small amount of carrots and celery so I grabbed those from the salad bar.

Ingredients (serves 4):
* 1.3 lb. ground turkey or beef (the turkey I buy comes in this prepackaged size, but 1 lb. will work as well)
* 3 tbsp. olive oil
* 1/4 c. celery, minced
* 1/8 c. carrots, minced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
* 1 1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
* 1/4 c. red wine
* 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 tsp. dried oregano

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot or skillet.  Add turkey or beef and brown, stirring often.  When it is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside.  If there is any excess liquid in the pan, drain it off.  Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and add carrots, onion and celery to the pan.  Saute until the vegetables are soft, then add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant (1 minute or so).  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, then add all remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.  Serve over whole wheat rigatoni.  Enjoy!

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