Giada, you would be so proud. I just made a divine turkey bolognese. I’ll be honest, I’ve never made turkey bolognese, so I did a lot of Googling (and went first to Giada, duh). Luckily, it was one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants days… everything I added to the skillet seemed so….. right. One of the reasons I love blogging is because I will get to share my amateur experiences with you all – and I promise, there will be some not-so-pretty ones. But hey, I’m 26 years old, I’ve never had a cooking lesson (not a one!) and I just love love love food (except eggplant, ack!) …. and I always aspire to be fitter, hence the healthiness I bring to my recipes. Every Italian woman wants to be a teeeeeeeny bit thinner…. except for Giada, she’s just blessed with that goddess-like Roman blood.
Tasting Tuesday is for me to test one of the recipes for my cookbook. So thanks for being my guinea pig. The key to this recipe today is briefly pureeing the carrots and celery before cooking them. This was a last-minute decision and really added to the texture of the bolognese and enriched the sauce.
Also, when you’re reducing your sauce, don’t worry if it seems to not be very saucey – it’s supposed to be thick. Plus, once you add in the zucchini noodles it adds moisture to the sauce and results in utter perfection. So here we go…. my Bikini Bolognese, a tribute to all pasta-lovers trying to be healthy…. oh, and I may have dipped some crusty whole wheat bread in the sauce afterwards, but I plead the fifth on that one.
Serving size: 2
Time to prepare: 5-10 minutes
Time to cook: 25 minutes
- 2-2.5 large zucchinis, spiralized into thin spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 lb ground turkey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped (a little more than 1/3 of a cup)
- 1/2 of 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1/2 of 1 whole carrot, diced
- 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano is the best!)
- 3/4 tbsp tomato paste (about 3 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup chopped basil
- 1 tbsp oregano flakes
- shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Add your carrots and celery to a food processor and pulse until chopped finely. There can still be chunks, just no big ones. The end mixture should be somewhere in between chunky and pureed.
Put a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once oil heats, add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in red pepper flakes, cook for 30 seconds and then add in the onions. Cook onions for 1-2 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add in carrot/celery mixture and cook for 1 minute.
Push the veggie mixture to the side and add in the ground turkey, crumbling as you add. Crumble with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add a pinch of the oregano flakes. Cook turkey until the meat is no longer pink.
Combine the veggies with the turkey and season with another pinch of oregano flakes. Add in the chicken broth and cook until reduced (water evaporates).
Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the remaining oregano flakes. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add in the zucchini pasta and mix thoroughly to combine. Plate onto dishes and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Feel free to eat this while wearing a bikini!