Weeknight Ragu alla Bolognese

24 04 2013

Bolognese sauce is an Italian meat-based sauce in which the meat is traditionally braised. It can take hours to develop a classically deep, rich Bolognese sauce. This is my recipe for a healthier version of this classic, that can be made quickly and even enjoyed during the week!

Weeknight Ragu alla Bolognese

Weeknight Ragu alla Bolognese

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large piece of celery, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 package of lean ground turkey
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup or more dry red wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta of your choice (spaghetti is pictured here)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, torn for garnish

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, a few good turns of the pan. Add chopped onions and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, 1 more minute. Next add the chopped celery and season with salt and pepper. Using a hand-held grater or microplane, grate the carrot right into the skillet. Cook veggies together for 2-3 minutes.

Next add the ground turkey and brown along with the veggies – be sure to break up the turkey with a spatula. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and mix well into the turkey and veggies, cook for another minute. Next, deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook for another minute until the wine is well incorporated. Finally, add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat, simmer sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. If the sauce starts to look dry or starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add more red wine – 1 turn of the pan at a time.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain.

Add the drained pasta directly to the skillet with the sauce and finish cooking for a minute until the pasta is tossed well with the sauce. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve pasta with grated parmesan cheese and torn parsley, and of course, a glass of dry red wine 🙂

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