Friday, August 6, 2010

Christine's Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce With Ground Turkey

The title actually says it all about this recipe.  It can be prepped, cooked, and ready to spoon over pasta in about 45 minutes.

My boys (now men) know this sauce well; until they had grown up and fledged, I'd made it for them often, always tossed with spaghetti (although today I used gluten-free spirals), and it never failed to satisfy.  Sometimes I think they liked it better than pizza.

The meat is optional and leaving it out will result in a sauce suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.

A note about the ground turkey: That mushy stuff sold in some stores that looks and feels like it has glue in it? Try not to use that. Instead, find a good source for ground turkey that looks as though it really was extruded through a grinder rather than mashed into paste.

Yes, I'm using canned tomato products but if you have home made sauces, go for it.  The measurements are not set in stone.  What you want to achieve is a thick, tomato-y sauce that will cling to your pasta.

This is dedicated to my boys (now men).  The recipe is a secret no longer so hone up on those knife skills and get chopping.

Christine's Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce with Ground Turkey
(print recipe)
1 pound ground turkey (not the mushy stuff), or other ground meat, optional
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
2 small Padrón peppers or 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, minced
1 tablespoon (or more) organic Italian herbs
1 28-ounce can organic peeled tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic tomato products)
1 15-ounce can organic tomato sauce (preferrably sugar free)
1 6-ounce can organic tomato paste (preferrably sugar free)
1/4 to 1/3 cup dry red wine to rinse the cans (more certainly may be used)
small handful fresh basil leaves, torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil for the pan
If using ground meat, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high.
When a bead of water dances on the skillet, add roughly 2 teaspoons olive oil then the ground meat crumbled into pieces.
Allow the meat to sear for about 3 minutes then break apart with a wooden spoon and continue to sauté until no pink shows.  Drain all liquid (save this for the dog or kitties), remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add a bit more olive oil then toss in the onions.  Sauté until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir, allowing the aromas to come up from the pan, about 2 minutes.
Add the peppers, Italian herbs, and the contents of each can.
Rinse the cans with red wine and pour into the skillet.
Stir and break the tomatoes up with your wooden spoon.
Add the cooked ground meat,
the torn basil leaves, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, give it a good stir and simmer it for about 15 minutes.  At this point it's ready for pasta, although you can simmer it longer if you have time.

I said it was simple.


Copyright © 2005-2010, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. I loved your post and especially could sense your love for your family. Thank-you.

  2. Simple. And that's just the way tomato sauce should be!

  3. THe pasta sauce seems really easy to make and looks so delicious.

  4. It sounds good; I like the touch of spiciness.


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