Ugh…not sure what happened last night, but I came down with a horrible headache. Today it is not better. Not at all. I don’t feel sick. I just want to hide from loud noises and get a bunch of things I had planned on doing done. So no fun recipes from this weekend, but I do have my turkey spaghetti sauce recipe to share that was on TWM the week before last.
I like a spaghetti sauce that is loaded with veggies too. I also like it to have a little bit of heat. Nothing too dramatic but a healthy dose of chili pepper flakes or even a whole fresh chili.
Sauces like this are one of those things that is always better if it has simmered for an hour or if you eat it the next day after all the flavors have melded, but I can say I have also eaten it as soon as all the vegetables have been soft enough to eat. It may mellow, blend and get a bit more complex with time, but sometimes you just want dinner, so even without that extra time this is delicious.
You can chop everything by hand or use a food processor to do it much more quickly. I used my mini chopper for the chili, garlic, and onions and did the rest by hand. The big attachment for my hand blender is more of a blender than a food processor, pureeing items on the bottom and leaving whole chunks on top, so I don’t use it for things like this.
Just a pointer: If you have cooked down all the vegetables, added the tomatoes, and allowed to simmer for a few minutes, at this point taste the sauce. Does it need to be a bit sweeter? Add a dash of brown sugar. Does it taste a little flat? Splash in some balsamic. Missing some umami? Add some grated parmesan (we are all going to do that later anyway, right?). If it is still too tangy/sour it is likely the acidity in the canned tomato products try adding a pinch (1/8 tsp or less to start) of baking soda to neutralize the acid. Add more if needed, but it will take away from the tomato flavor some which we still want to taste! More heat? Red pepper flakes.
This made a lot. I don’t even know how much, but I would say at least 8 servings if not 10. But I loved leftover spaghetti! If you are not into eating the same thing for days the sauce will freeze very well.
Loaded Turkey Spaghetti
500g (~1lb) ground turkey
2 medium onions, diced
3 Tbs olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced small
1 red chili (or jalepeño), minced
300g (~8oz) mushrooms, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
3 cans (400g/15oz) diced tomatoes. (I used spicy)
1 can (400g/15oz) tomato puree
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Heat 1 tbs oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot on medium. Wait until the oil is hot and toss in onions, carrots, garlic, chili, a 1/4 tsp salt and cook 3-4 minutes. Once the onions and carrots cook down add in 1/4 tsp salt, and ground turkey. Cook until the turkey is broken up and no longer pink.
Transfer cooked meat and vegetables to a large bowl and set aside. (we just want to have a little room in the pot to brown the next batch of vegetables a bit)
Heat 1 tbs oil in pan then add in 1/4 tsp salt, mushrooms, and zucchini cook for 3-4 minutes before adding in the diced pepper. Saute until vegetables have softened and a cooked down. Add red wine (or a bit of water or broth if you chose not to use wine) and scrape any browned bits off the bottom.
Return the set aside cooked meat and vegetables mixture to pot. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, oregano, basil, pepper and Italian seasoning. Pour in red wine and add in all canned tomatoes (diced and puree). Stir well to combine and add bay leaves. Simmer everything together for at least 20 min (taste test after 5-10 min for flavor adjusting), but longer is better if you have the time. I let mine cook for 45 minutes or more.
In the final 10 minutes of cooking stir in the fresh basil, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt and last Tbs of olive oil. Serve over hot noodles and top generously with parmesan.