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Turkey Bolognese

Posted by  on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Typically Bolognese sauce is made with a variety of meats, which puts it off the menu for me, being a pescetarian and poultritarian and all. I tend to substitute in turkey or chicken for the many meat centric dishes I crave, and after some research was able to find a recipe that agrees with my diet.

I have to thank Trish for putting the whole Bolognese concept into my head and Emeril for his unique recipe. Emeril suggests using 2 pounds of turkey meat–not sure what type of party he is having but I am only cooking for two, so I reduced the volume of ingredients. He also includes garlic in his recipe, which I found seems to be a faux pas amongst Northern Italian cooks and therefore eliminated it. Not that my substitution of ground turkey does much honoring tradition since beef, pancetta, pork and veal are staples to this hearty dish.

The key to this sauce is to simmer it for a long time to reduce it down. I only gave it about an hour before hunger got the best of me and the sauce could have benefitted from a little more time. Patience is a virtue…

Turkey Bolognese

Turkey Bolognese recipe: adapted from Emeril


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (25-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, roughly chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (3-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions to the pot and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir the celery and carrots and cook until the vegetables are wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey to the vegetables, stirring to mix and break up the meat, and cook until starting to brown and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Season the meat with thyme, Italian seasoning, Essence and salt, to taste. Add the wine and let reduce down for 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the milk, lower the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 2 hours, stirring from time to time.

Immediately prior to serving, add the milk to the sauce and stir well to incorporate.

Serve over cooked pasta, such as spaghetti or linguini.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

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One comment


Delish Krissy! Looks amazing. I am so glad you ventured out of your little fish/chicken bubble.

Last time I made bolognese we simmered it for 4 hours on a Sunday and it was worth it. Flavored so nicely over time. And I made the 2 lbs and froze the extra. Its worth it when you’re THAT long!

Yum, yum!

February 11th, 2010 at 11:11 am

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