Hearty Turkey Tomato Sauce with Campanelle
Ground turkey is a nice substitution for beef in this hearty pasta sauce. I often substitute it for the ground beef in my Chili recipe. Make sure to buy 93% lean turkey, any leaner and the meat with taste dry. I like Campanelle pasta for this dish, but any favorite pasta will work.
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds 93% percent lean ground turkey (don’t use 99%)
1 can (6 ounce) Pastene tomato paste
1 can (28 ounce) Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes
1 can (28 ounce) Tuttorosso or Muir Glen crushed tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound Campanelle pasta (or pasta of choice)
½ cup fresh basil, minced
1. Combine onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened, 10-12 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add HALF the ground turkey and increase heat to medium high. Cook the turkey, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat loses it raw color, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in diced and crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, oregano, and pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
3. Stir the remaining ground turkey, breaking it up as you add it, and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt, add the pasta, and cook according to package directions until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking water, and return pasta to pot.
5. Stir remaining tablespoon of olive oil and chopped basil into sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss 3 cups of the meat sauce into the pasta, adding some of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Divide pasta among serving dishes and top each with a portion of sauce. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and extra basil, if desired.
Note: Extra sauce will freeze well for up to a month.