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Spaghetti Bolognese

The Foodie Physician
Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of slowly simmered meat sauce tossed with pasta and freshly grated cheese?  This version, which uses turkey, is lighter in calories without sacrificing any of the rich flavor. 
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 460 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup milk (I used low fat)
  • 1 cup white wine (I used Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut 2012 Chardonnay)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat or multigrain spaghetti
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley or basil for serving


  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until vegetables are softened but not browned.
  • Add the turkey and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Break the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once it is browned, stir in the tomato paste. Add the milk and simmer a few minutes until it is completely reduced. Add the wine and cook another minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Simmer uncovered, on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, at least 30 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • While the sauce is cooking, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the spaghetti, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.Add the spaghetti to the pot with the sauce and toss to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking water as needed to coat all of the pasta. Garnish with cheese and fresh parsley or basil.


Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.2g | Protein: 26.7g | Fat: 11.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g | Sodium: 518mg | Fiber: 4.8g
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