This recipe cooks slowly and gets a deep, layered flavor. You won’t miss the red meat at all. It also keeps well in the fridge.
1 pound ground organic free-range light and dark or all-dark turkey meat (at room temperature)*
2 15-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans Italian chopped tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3 medium or 2 large brown onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup red wine
2 sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
olive oil to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1. Put a big glug of olive oil in a big saucepan over medium-low heat
2. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).
3. Add the red pepper flakes and bashed up fennel seeds (Jamie Oliver makes a great spice basher, incidentally).
4. Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil and the ground turkey and throw in the rosemary. Let the meat get a lovely deep brown and then add it to the big pan with the sofrito.
5. Season with pepper and fleur de sel (I like one mixed with herbes de Provence) and stir well.
6. Add the tomatoes and bring the sauce to a boil, then add the red wine (not something so cheap you wouldn’t drink it—a good wine makes a good sauce!).
7. Let it boil away for a few minutes, then turn the heat down low and and partially cover the saucepan. Let it blip away slowly and gently for a good 2½ to 3 hours, stirring often.
Serve with rigatoni and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
* I read in Giorgio Locatelli’s cookbook that meat sears and browns when you fry it at room temperature, whereas it boils in its own juice when it’s cold. He is absolutely right (obviously): The turkey browns quickly and deeply, giving it lots of flavor.
Originally featured in Turkey Ragu and Banana-Nut Muffins