Here in Minnesota, we are a little over a week into school. My oldest, Jack, started kindergarten this year. I’ll be honest, I was apprehensive - Will he be able to adjust to all day school? Will he make friends? Will he be able to make it through the day awake? - the questions were literally endless in my head.
And you know what? He crushed it; he loves kindergarten and has been adjusting incredibly well. Every day he wakes up excited to go and every afternoon, when Will and I walk to pick him up, he has a gigantic smile on his face (and looks absolutely exhausted)!!
Dinnertime, however, can be a little chaotic. After a long day at school without a nap (he literally still took a nap up until the day before kindergarten), he is beat and a bit crabby. So, making a gourmet meal is just not in the cards. This Turkey Bolognese is perfect to just throw into a pan and let it simmer. When you let it slowly simmer, the flavors develop and the meat and vegetables become really tender. I absolutely love using Dei Fratelli Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes as the bolognese base - the tomatoes have a subtle smoky flavor that really helps to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
Instead of the traditional beef bologense, I like to substitute ground turkey. You can’t taste the difference (you may be shaking your head right now, but I honestly can’t; especially when it is with a sauce). In addition, ground turkey is a lot healthier for you than ground beef so, why not substitute it?!
If you have trouble getting your kids to eat vegetables, this is a great recipe to sneak some in. You can chop the carrots up super small to hide them from those prying eyes! My boys don’t even notice the carrots - they just scarf it up. My oldest, Jack, doesn’t like sauce on his noodles but likes to eat the sauce on the side with plain noodles. Hey, however you want to eat it!
Whenever I make this recipe, I always double it and freeze half. The bolognese freezes really well, so if it’s a busy night and I don’t have the time to make or dinner (or, let’s be honest, just don’t want to), I heat up the bolognese and make some fresh noodles for a quick and easy dinner!
6 - 8 servings
Hands-on: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes (let sauce simmer)
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
12 oz pappardelle pasta*
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and brown the ground turkey.
While you are browning the turkey, cut up the garlic, onion and carrots. Add the cut vegetables to the turkey after it is done cooking.
Add the tomato paste to the pan and brown it for a minute and stir to combine.** Then, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Cover the pan and let it simmer on medium for 1 hour. Stir every 20 minutes.***
15 minutes prior to serving, cook the noodles according to the package directions.
Serve the turkey bolognese over the noddles. Enjoy!
*You can substitute any kind of noodles for the pappardelle pasta but I especially like pappardelle pasta because the thick, wide noodles soak up the bolognese and YUM! they are delicious.
**The tomato paste won’t completely stir in - combine it as best you can.
***Add 1-2 Tbsp water if the sauce looks dry.
TIPS FOR INVOLVING KIDS
Let your kids help you cut up the zucchini and mushrooms with these knives.
Have your kids help you put the cut zucchini and mushrooms in the pan and cook them (with supervision of course)!
Let your kids help you measure and pour all of the ingredients for the sauce.