Whether you have kids, or are still one at heart, there is always that one dish that hits home, makes you feel good, that you just love, hands down.
For my daughter, that food has been, since I can remember, pasta. The noodles don't matter, but the sauce does. It has to be tomato based and it has to be rich. Meatballs? Maybe, but they better be just right, meaning, not too big, not too fatty, not too spicy, well, the list goes on.
I'm sure you can identify with me, when I say that it can get pretty boring cooking up the same old pasta sauce month, after month, after month. Last night though, I got to feeling guilty because I haven't cooked up any sauce for her in weeks, bad mom. With that, I whipped up a batch of Bolognese sauce, or my version of it, using ground turkey. It's right up her alley, and just different enough to keep me interested.
My pasta sauce connoisseur gave it a huge thumbs up. With kudos like that I felt I must share it with you.
- 1 - 2 thick slice pancetta, ground up in the food processor (there are 2 here, but I actually only used 1 and saved the other for another dish.)
- 1 carrot - finely diced
- 1 celery stalk - finely diced
- 1 large yellow onion- diced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cans whole or diced tomatoes pureed in blender/food processor
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- splash of white wine vinegar
- Pasta of your choice
- cheese of your choice - Pecorino, Parm, or even a little Feta is nice.
In a heavy bottomed pot, cook pancetta over medium heat until it is not quite crispy. Remove pancetta from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat and in the rendered fat, saute the carrot, celery, onion and garlic until they begin to soften.
Add the ground turkey to the pan, breaking it up and letting it cook until all the pink is gone from the meat.
Put the wine into the pan and let it cook down for about 5 minutes or so. Then add the milk and let that cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes and seasonings and bring the mixture back up to a good simmer. Put the pancetta back in the pan and let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 1 hour.
Before serving - add the splash of vinegar and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Check your seasonings at this point as well and adjust as necessary.
Cook pasta according to directions and serve sauce over the pasta with your choice of cheese ( I used Feta, not traditional, but it's what I had on hand and it was very compatible with the sauce).