Turkey & Vegetable Bolognese Sauce

by Susan on August 19, 2012


I love making zucchini “noodles,” but anyone claiming they are a true replacement for traditional pasta will probably also try to convince you that tofu tastes like chicken. I often make a pasta meal for the family that I serve two ways: over the green stuff for myself and with brown rice pasta for everyone else.

The zucchini option hasn’t caused dramatic gag reflexes or rolled eyes from my kids, a good thing considering last night I got really bold and didn’t cook up any of the “real thing.” I probably grated a little extra fresh parmesan on the kids’ portions, not to mention indulged them with some homemade garlic bread. I think the real trick, however, was making a sauce that was hearty and tasty enough to make them overlook the lack of carbs lying beneath.

This recipe is a compromise between a proper bolognese and an attempt to rid the fridge of random odds and ends. You could use any ground meat and vegetable here, and get as aggressive as desired with the spice. I played things pretty tame and then sprinkled my own portion with crushed red pepper flakes.

Using a couple of slices of bacon not only adds more meaty flavor to the sauce, but the bacon fat is perfect for sweating the vegetables. I chose to add some coconut milk at the end to add some non-dairy creaminess, but you could certainly omit it.

And not to state the obvious, but you can certainly serve this sauce over your pasta of choice. If you’re curious to go green, though, check here for my method for cooking up julienned zucchini.

Turkey & Vegetable Bolognese Sauce

2 slices of nitrite-free bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup dry white wine, chicken broth or water
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
salt & pepper, to taste

Cook bacon through garlic in a large sauce pot over medium heat, stirring often. After 5 minutes add ground meat, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Stir and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink.

Add wine and tomatoes; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for as much time as you’ve got. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in milk (if using) during last few minutes of cooking.

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