Turkey Bolognese – 29.3.12
I love using turkey as a healthy alternative to beef and love using it in bolognese recipes. I’ve always wanted to try making bolognese with wine because my house mate Beckie says it’s always so much better when you add it to a bolognese recipe. So I went to Waitrose today and spent forever trying to choose a red wine to cook with. All I knew was to always use a wine in cooking good enough to drink. I don’t drink red wine so this was a bit of a problem. However I ended up choosing a fruity and peppery red wine which said on the label would go well with beef so felt it would be good for a Bolognese! I know I was using Turkey but I wanted to keep to a traditional recipe and see how it would taste with the use of a healthy substitute. This is my first recipe I’ve made up from my general knowledge of bolognese recipes and numerous recipes I’ve looked at recently.
2 tsp Olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic (or 2 depending on your love for garlic)
250g Turkey mince
225g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
½ wine glass of red wine
½ wine glass of chicken stock (I used half a stock cube to make this)
Pinches of salt and pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dried Oregano
I’m not exact with Pasta measurements and did not use spaghetti for this. My day to day rule of thumb for pasta portions is 2 handfuls of dry pasta per person or 1 mug of pasta per person. So we used:
5 handfuls of Dried Whole Wheat Fusilli
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook on a medium heat for about 4 minutes until softened and add the garlic. Leave this to cook for a minute or 2 then add the turkey mince. For beef you would cook till it had all browned, in this case, cook till it has firmed up (or simply looks cooked!) and even turn the heat up a little to brown.
Stir the tomato purée into the mince and onion mix. Cook this off for about 2 minutes as this will create a deeper tomato flavour in the dish. When done, add the chopped tomatoes, wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and cover, leaving it to simmer for around 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan!.
Cooking the pasta. After simmering the Bolognese for about half an hour, bring a medium to large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. At this point, uncover the Bolognese and leave to simmer whilst the pasta cooks.
Cook the pasta according to directions on the packet, when you have 5 minutes left to cook the pasta, add the Oregano to the Bolognese and stir.
When the pasta is al dente (soft but with a slight bite), drain well and distribute between 2 bowls and top with the bolognese. Season and serve with cheese if you wish :)
At first I had added too much wine to my bolognese, almost turning it purple! I poured out a little of it and salvaged the dish by adding the chicken stock. All of these flavours came through really nicely when it had finished cooking. I was quite worried about the wine being too strong but leaving it to simmer for so long cooked off most of the alcohol and you got the subtle flavours of the wine in the end dish, which was really nice. I am definitely going to use wine in future bolognese recipes, it was a really nice addition and wish I’d started to use it earlier!