Turkey Ragu ~a lighter bolognese

If you are looking for a lighter bolognese sauce, try using ground turkey instead of ground chuck or sirloin.   As a traditionalist, I was a bit apprehensive to try ground turkey as I thought it would compromise the flavor and richness of the sauce.  But to my surprise,  it tasted really delicious and the bella mushrooms and fresh spinach added another layer of flavor and texture to the sauce….. Not to mention, by using the turkey, you reduce your calorie and fat intake …something many of us are trying to do these  days.    4 oz of ground turkey is 190 calories/10 gms fat as compared to ground chuck at 225 calories and 13 grams of fat. Every little bit counts…

To intensify the flavors of this sauce,  I sautéed the turkey, onion and bella mushrooms till all thier liquid evaporated and the mixture caramelized to a light golden brown color.Then I deglazed the mixture with a cup of white wine and added a bunch of fresh baby spinach, plum tomato sauce and then simmered the sauce for about 15 -20 min to reduce and blend flavors.  Remember to season well with salt/ pepper.   Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and sprinkle liberally with pecorino romano cheese…Serve and enjoy!  YUM!!

Turkey Ragu ~a lighter bolognese
Recipe type: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
  • 10 oz ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz bella mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 small white onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup dry white wine (used Pinot Grigio)
  • salt/ peppper to taste
  • 1 cup organic baby spinach
  • 2 cups can plum tomatoes, blended till to desired consistency
  • pecorino romano, grated.
  • ½ lb long fusilli pasta.
  1. Boil 6 quarts of water, salted for pasta.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and add mushrooms, onions. Sauté until lightly browned,
  3. Push mushroom and onions to side of pan and add ground turkey, breaking meat up with a fork so it cooks evenly; season meat with salt and pepper to taste. Allow all the liquid to evaporate and the meat to lightly brown. blend with mushrooms and onions.
  4. Deglaze mixture with white wine and stir in fresh spinach and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and season sauce with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer sauce for approximately 15-20 minutes allowing sauce to reduce a bit
  6. When pot of water comes to a brisk boil, cook fusilli pasta until al dente or about 8 minutes.
  7. Spoon out pasta right into warm sauce and coat pasta well. Add-spoonfuls of pasta water if sauce is too thick.
  8. Sprinkle pasta with pecorino romano cheese and transfer to a beautiful pasta bowl and serve.
  9. Buon Appetito!
  10. Kathleen Barbato...3 Italian Sisters.



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  1. Anonymous

    If your cooking for one or two people and want to have leftovers for the next day is it better not to mix all the pasta into the sauce?

    1. 3 Italian Sisters (Post author)

      Hello Anonymous….Yes ….you are right …do not mix all of the pasta into the sauce.. Just place the pasta in a separate bowl and mix the desired amount of sauce into the pasta. The leftover sauce stays in refrigerator well for a couple days or can be placed in freezer for later use. Thank you for your comments and thank your for visiting 3 Italian Sisters… we hope you come back again

      Ciao….Kathleen Barbato…3 Italian Sisters

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