Pasta has, and always will be a great comfort food to me. I love eating it, and I love having an easy sauce to throw together (along with carbonara) to smother it in. This recipe is one I have adapted over the past few years and is my primary red sauce. I prefer the turkey simply because it lets the tomatoes and the body of the sauce shine through more. So beef is totally an option for you if you prefer. The sauce also freezes very well for a rainy day.
Turkey Bolognese (Inspired by Emeril Lagasse)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 pound ground turkey (at least 90% lean)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon red pepper flake
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup milk
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions to the pot and sauté until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Stir the celery, carrots and garlic into the pot and cook until the vegetables are slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Next add the ground turkey to the vegetables, breaking up the meat, and cook until starting to brown and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add thyme, oregano, red pepper, and salt, to taste. Add all remaining ingredients except the milk, lower the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring from time to time. If the sauce reduces quickly add a bit more stock and continue to reduce
About 10 minutes prior to serving, add the milk to the sauce and stir well to incorporate. Season to taste.
Serve over cooked pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni. Serves four.