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LAist in the Kitchen: Pasta with Turkey Bolognese

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Man, it's cold outside. Our Canadian blood has thinned so significantly that we can't even pull off the flip-flops on the feet and a scarf around the neck look these days. So once we get inside we're ready to settle down to some hearty comfort food, and this is where one of our favorite slow-cooking pasta sauces comes in.

We've adapted a more traditional Bolognese sauce--made with both ground pork and ground beef--to utilize the lighter, more healthy alternative of ground turkey, but we make up for the fat loss with the use of cream instead of milk. If you want to wuss out and cut some more calories to save your chic California bod, we won't be scornful. Either way, get this one on the stove a good couple of hours before you're ready to eat, and then get ready to be sated and settled down for the night.


2 1/2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup carrot, peeled & minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
1 shallot, minced (sub: 1/2 small onion)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup cream
1 cup white wine (not Chardonnay)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1/2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
chopped basil leaves, to taste (1+ tsp)
1/2 lb. pasta
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

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Melt butter in a large sauce pot on medium heat, then add carrots, celery, and shallot and saute until softened. Add turkey meat, using a long handled spoon to crumble it to bits as it cooks, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until no longer raw, but not browned. Add cream and bring to a simmer; hold at a simmer while the cream reduces for about 15 minutes (the cream will not fully evaporate). Add white wine and continue to simmer while wine evaporates, approximately another 15 minutes. In a bowl, chop or use your hands to break apart and pulverize the canned tomatoes; do not discard the juice. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for about an hour, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the thyme and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta and drain, reserving a bit of the liquid. Toss the pasta, pasta water (1-3 tbsp, depending), and sauce. Add basil. Top with parmesan and serve.

Serves 4