When I first read Gwyneth Paltrow's recipe for Turkey Bolognese from My Father's Daughter, I was a little hesitant. The listed preparation time is 5 hours, and while I may spend most of my Saturday cooking anyway, I usually don't spend 5 hours cooking one dish. But I was really craving some traditional Italian food, so I made the time investment and was thoroughly delighted with the result.
Of course I changed the recipe a bit, adding some carrots and celery, a little extra tomato paste, and a pinch of dried herbs, but nothing too radical. I also decided to make some homemade pasta to go with my slow-cooked sauce (I had the time, right?). I honored tradition by using half semolina flour, but I also added whole grain spelt flour and flax meal to the dough to make the pasta a bit easier to digest. If the Goop Cleanse taught me anything, it's that little choices made at each meal to aid digestion can add up to much bigger effects in the aggregate.
If you're looking for a quick, healthy version of this for a weeknight, try my Turkey Bolognese with Quinoa recipe. It will satisfy the craving for Italian food in a fraction of the time. But honestly, if you're having company over for dinner or have some time on a long weekend, definitely give this slower version a try. Then sit down and watch an episode of the Sopranos and call it a night.
Slow-Cooked Turkey Bolognese with Chicken Sausage (4-6 servings)
2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage made with chicken or turkey* (about 3 links)
1 pound ground turkey (Lean or dark will work, but I'd go with darker meat for this)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 celery stalks, leaves removed and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 28-oz. cans organic whole peeled tomatoes in juice**
1/2 cup filtered water or red wine, plus additional water as needed
1 6-oz. can organic tomato paste
Pinch of dried basil and oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 lb. pasta, or Homemade Spelt & Flax Pasta (recipe below)
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for serving
*I used the fresh Hot Italian Chicken Sausage at the Whole Foods, which was flavorful, but much lower in fat than traditional pork sausage. You can get mild Italian sausage, but this sauce is pretty mild to start with, so I went for the hot version.
**I get the Muir Organic brand whole peeled tomatoes from Whole Foods. The quality of the tomatoes is important, so I'd spend an extra dollar or two to get the good ones. I also like San Marzano tomatoes for Italian dishes.
1. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or other heavy pan) over medium-high heat. Cut the sausages in half and add them to the hot pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning the sausages so they cook evenly, until they are evenly browned. Remove the sausages to a plate and set aside.
7. Add the cooked pasta to a bowl (or back in the pot to save on dishes) with the pasta water and one ladle full of the tomato sauce. Mix the pasta with the water and sauce so that each noodle has a light coating of tomato sauce - this will keep the pasta from clumping on the plate. Serve the pasta with additional tomato sauce on top and some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
Serving Size 490 g
Homemade Spelt & Flax Pasta (4-6 servings)
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup whole grain spelt flour
2 Tablespoons flaxmeal, or ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 medium organic eggs, or 2 large or extra large eggs
1.5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Water, as needed, 1 Tablespoon at a time
1. Add the semolina flour, spelt flour, flaxmeal, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
Serving Size 71 g