Bolognese is a classic, hearty, and rich sauce that is simple and so comforting. Since it has such a rich flavor, it is the perfect topping for a bed of zucchini noodles, “zoodles”, – you won’t even miss the pasta!
With such a flavorful sauce, I substituted the ground beef for a lean ground turkey. By adding lots of spices and some mushrooms, the umami flavor is still achieved despite using a lighter protein.
This is my “quick” bolognese recipe as it simmers for only an hour vs. the traditional bolognese which would cook for 2-3 hours.
Prep Time: 20 min / Cook Time: 1.5 hours / Servings: 6 – 8
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 3 slices bacon, sliced into small cubes
- 1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth (low sodium)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon garlic (about 5 cloves)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp fennel
- 4 Zucchinis – spiralized into “zoodles”.
- Optional for toppings:
- Chopped parsley
- Freshly grated parmesan
- Heat a large pot over medium/high heat. Add the sliced bacon and cook until browned and crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
- Add ground turkey to the hot bacon fat and cook. Break the ground turkey into small bits as it cooks. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Once cooked, remove the ground turkey from the pot and set aside with the bacon.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pot. Once hot, add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes then add the chopped garlic. Cook for another 5-10 minutes (until vegetables are soft and translucent).
- Add the chicken and bacon back to the pot.
- Add the tomato paste and sauce.
- Season with the remaining salt, more pepper, chili flakes, parsley, oregano and fennel. Stir.
- Add the red wine to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 min, add the mushrooms and cook for a remaining 15 minutes.
- While the sauce cooks, spiralize the zucchini.
- Heat a large, deep saute pan (the sauce will be added to this pan so it should be fairly large). Add the remaining 1 tsp olive oil.
- Add the zucchini noodles, “zoodles”, to the hot pan and cook down slightly until they are tender and release some of their water.
- When the sauce is done, add it directly to the large pan of zoodles.
- Heat and stir until the sauce and zoodles are well mixed.
- Serve and top with fresh parsley and grated fresh parmesan!