Friday, January 7, 2011

Turkey Bolognese with Multi-Grain Pasta

Since the holidays are over, we're trying to lighten up our meals. Sometimes meals with pasta and Bolognese sauce aren't really that healthy, but this one is. Instead of the typical ground beef or pork, this one has ground turkey, and my husband loves this sauce, which is the important thing.  We use ground turkey in all our ground meat recipes, even meatloaf. Also, this sauce is made with very low sodium chicken stock from Trader Joe's  no salt canned tomatoes, and grated carrot..  We also added no additional salt, because the herbs give it so much flavor, you don't miss the salt. The cheese on the top is low fat Parmesan cheese, so there is less fat from the cheese. but like I said my husband loves the sauce.  You could add a little red wine or  sauteed mushrooms, if you wanted.

If you read my blog, you know that my hubby has had  single bypass surgery, so having a diet low in sodium and fat is paramount to us, most of the time. It has been a long process to get to this point, where he doesn't add salt to everything or miss the salt so much.. It involves reading a lot of labels, bypassing the processed food aisles in the grocery store, using fresh herbs when possible, lots of spices, adding more whole grains  vegettables, and fruits to our diet.. We make almost all of our meals with fresh or frozen foods, to contol the sodium and fat.. Also, dining out is a challenge, but all things in moderation.  Finally, after almost five years,  we have turned the corner. When he tastes something , and says "That's too salty".  I rasie my hands and say "Yes".  It's an ongoing journey!  Enjoy!

Turkey Bolognese with Multi-Grain Pasta, A Healthy Alternative- Adapted from
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey  
  • 2 Tbsp or so,  olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 onions, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dry
  • 1 cup chicken stock, regular or low sodium stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces each), regular or low sodium
  • 1 pound whole wheat, or multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1/2-1 cup low fat Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.

Pre-heat a large Dutch oven or deep pot over medium-high heat with about  2tbsp olive oil, 1-2 turns of the pan. Add in the turkey and, using the back of a wooden spoon, break up the meat into small pieces. Cook 5-6 minutes to start the browning process, then grate the carrots, onions and garlic into the pot or finely chop and stir in. Season liberally with salt (optional) and pepper, add bay leaf and cook five minutes more; then stir in the stock and the tomatoes. Bring up to a bubble, then drop the heat to low and simmer while you cook another 5-6 minutes more.

Salt water and cook pasta to al dente, with a bite to it. Place the pasta back into the warm pot you cooked it in.. Serve pasta in shallow bowls with an extra ladle of sauce on top. Sprinkle with low fat Parmesan cheese

Cool the leftover sauce and store in refrigerator.


  1. A terrific healthy version of pasta Bolognese, a delicious meal for sure!

  2. Natasha- Thank you for your comments. It is very good.

  3. I so related to this post. Ryan had very high blood pressure, and we had to change to a low sodium diet. At first, it was hard for him...but now when we go to restaurants, we both look at each other and say "This is far too salty!". It is amazing how much flavor herbs and fresh ingredients can add to a dish. Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe. I hope you have a blessed weekend!

  4. Monet- Eating out is still a problem, because most of the food in restaurants has way too much sodium. Chinese food, unless we make it at home with lower sodium sauces, is off the list. Hopefully restaurants will begin to realize the real dangers of too much sodium in our diets.
    I hope that you and Ryan have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Healthy and comforting in one!:)) Wonderful recipe with fabulous photo!

  6. Great recipe, this looks scrumptious!

  7. Dimah- Thanks for your comments! Missed you:)

  8. Hi Becky. This looks fantastic. I'm so glad to hear that your husband has gotten to the point where low salt foods taste regular now. I'm the salt lover in our family, but I don't want to get Dudette hooked on it and Hubby doesn't care for too much so I've taken to cooking like you do. As you know, I only just tried ground turkey recently and loved it. You should have told me! :) Your bolognese is gorgeous.


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