I’m actually not a fan of any kind of tomato-based sauce. I know. I know. I don’t even like tomato soup. The only red sauces I’ve fallen head-over heels with are the marinara at Buona Forchetta, and Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese.
This is my take on a ground turkey bolognese; other than switching up the protein, not much tweaking was done to the original Marcella Hazan recipe. This is NOT a quick recipe, but it’s pretty simple. There are no complicated ingredients, just lots of time and love. I’ve been making this sauce once a week for the last month, usually on some sort of laundry / cleaning day, since a majority of the time this sauce cooks is hands off simmering, with the occasional stir. It’s also a good, cozy weekend project. This turkey bolognese goes with ANYTHING – pasta, perpetrating pasta (a.k.a. zucchini noodles), spaghetti squash, used as dip for breadsticks, in lasagna, ON A SPOON. So good.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- whole nutmeg
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1-28oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- Place a large pot over medium heat and add in the oil, butter and chopped onions. Cook onions until they're translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the chopped celery and carrots and stir to coat them in the butter and oil. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add in the ground turkey and season with 1/4 tsp of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the turkey and cook until it's no longer pink.
- Add in the milk and let simmer gently over low heat, stirring frequently, until it's evaporated completely. Add in a few shavings of nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon, and stir to combine.
- Add in the wine and, once again, let simmer until it's evaporated. Add in the tomatoes and stir to combine. Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat down to low to maintain a gentle, lazy simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring occasionally. If you find hte sauce begins to dry out and stick during cooking, add about 1/2 cup of water as necessary. The sauce is done when there's no more water and you can see the fat separate from the rest of the sauce. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Toss with fresh pasta, top your spaghetti squash or do what I do and eat it with a spoon.