When I was in Bologna Italy a few years ago, I learned that true Bolognese was mostly made of meat. It’s not a tomato based sauce like our American version, but a variety of meat reduced in its own juices until the consistency becomes quite substantial. So, I thought I would make a sauce similar in style, but with my own twist making it a little lighter, using turkey meat and wild mushrooms.
Turkey has always been a great substitute for ground beef or pork and today, there are so many varieties to choose from, so you can mix both light and dark poultry to make a well rounded sauce with tremendous taste. I decided to add some wild mushrooms into the mix because they add earthy flavor that works really well in this recipe. Wild mushrooms like oyster, shiitake, crimini or maitake vary in taste, so choose mushrooms you enjoy cooking and eating. To complete the sauce, a little tomato paste, white wine and chicken broth round out the flavors, and add a magnificent balance that’s delicious with pasta or spaghetti squash.
1 white onion, diced
3 cups wild mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 pound dark meat turkey, at least 15% fat
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound spaghetti squash or pasta
salt & pepper
1. Prepare pasta or spaghetti squash as directed, set aside. In a large sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium heat. Add diced onion, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 6 minutes. Add dried thyme and stir.
2. Add ground turkey and break apart with spoon. Cook meat until cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tomato paste, white wine and chicken broth, stir to combine. Turn heat to low and simmer sauce for 20 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Toss sauce with pasta or spaghetti squash. Enjoy!