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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spaghetti Bolognese

I had a little extra whipping cream and mascarpone left over from the Charlotte.
What to do, what to do?


Add it to the spaghetti I'd planned to make for lunch today! Weee!

Bolognese: [boh-luh-neez]
Italian Cookery. served with a cream sauce typically containing prosciutto, ground beef, and cheese.

As many of you know, I don't eat pork, so I will be omitting the prosciutto, and I also substituted 100% ground turkey breast to offset the calories in the cream and cheese a bit. (Okay, so it's like eating a Big Mac with a Diet Coke. But whatev.)

Here we go!

- 12 oz package of spaghetti [I used Trader Joe's Organic. Use more than 12oz pasta, and you won't have enough sauce unless you double the batch]
- 16oz ground turkey breast, crumbled [If you're kosher or veggie, you can substitute with soy crumbles]
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/3 large yellow onion, chopped
- Spices and herbs [I used Penzey's Sweet California Basil, mixed Italian seasoning, black pepper, kosher salt, and just a dash of chili powder]
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- 1 24oz jar pasta sauce of choice. [Again, I used Trader Joe's. <3]
- 1/4C whipping cream
- 4oz Mascarpone cheese [you can also use Ricotta or cream cheese]

Okeeee doke. That's everything.

Set a large pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to high. Add a pinch of salt. I add several pinches. Hell, pinch sminch. I add a small handful. I have tiny hands. Allow to boil.

Into a large, wide skillet, crumble your ground turkey and simmer over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and tomato, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. It's best to start light, as you can always taste and add more later when the turkey is cooked through. Let the meat sizzle, breaking up the large chunks with a spatula. Move the mixture around a bit so the onions can brown and the tomatoes can soften. Once the onions start to caramelize, the mixture should get a lovely golden coating throughout.

Add your pasta to the boiling water. Ideally, you should have enough water to completely cover the spaghetti noodles. If you do not have a pot large enough, then make sure to check often and push the noddles under the water as they soften.

Back to the skillet. Everything should be golden and well incorporated. If the turkey doesn't show any pink, feel free to pluck out a piece and give it a taste test. [Never trust a cook who doesn't sample their own dishes.] Add more seasoning if necessary.

Now I KNOW, there is nothing better than homemade pasta sauce from scratch. But I was lazy today. So jarred sauce it is. It's just a base anyway.

Add your sauce to the meat and stir. When well heated, add your cream and mascarpone. Stir well. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer.


Test your pasta. It should be al dente by now. If you prefer it a bit softer, turn the heat off under your pot of boiling pasta, cover, and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. Strain your spaghetti well.


Add your sauce, finish with a lovely green salad and some bread if you like, and go have some nosh.

I made a simple iceberg salad. I know iceberg isn't exactly couture cuisine, but I love the crunch of it when paired with a soft dish. I also accompanied the meal with homemade whole wheat challah rolls and spun clover honey. That's another recipe for another day.

Happy eating!


  1. How does coating in olive oil change the pasta? Is it much different from simply adding to your cooking water to minimize boil over?

  2. I think I am actually going to delete that step.

    I coat formed pastas, like tortellini and raviolis, to keep them from sticking together as they boil. But with spaghetti, it tends to keep the sauce from clinging properly to the finished pasta. Meh. No bueno.

    Most chefs will say that oil should never, ever be added to the water at all, for this very reason. Because my sauce was so thick, it wasn't a problem, but for future recipes, I will definitely go by that guideline.

  3. yummy! this spaghetti looks fantastic, i need this in my mouth right now. p.s im writing from work and my boss dosent know that so i cant stay long in here, but thanks for sharing this.


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