election night bolognese


so, i’m an election junkie.  to me it’s like an awards show – similar to the oscars, but instead of the red carpet & the great fashion, you’ve got these awesomely awkward podium speeches where someone, with their family & staffers in tow, is either celebrating or conceding defeat.  it’s a sporting event where the winner or loser has a huge effect on your own life.  also, it’s national.  often we are in our own bubble, with our own family, our own friends, our own workplace, our own whatever – but an election makes you realize how much larger your bubble truly should be.  what’s happening in nyc, where your brother & several friends live; dc, where your college roomie resides; chicago, where your friends who just got married in austin last weekend live; or california, where so many golden pals are – what’s happening everywhere??  it’s this kind of thinking that makes me want to cook a tasty meal, open a good bottle of cabernet, watch all the results come through… hence my bolognese below.

i’m in a beautiful pasta coma right now writing this & jumping from channel to channel taking in all of the results.  the pundits are so funny.  but let’s talk food.  this isn’t a traditional bolognese – i prefer chef barbara lynch’s version for that – but this is one of those great meaty sauces you can make & add any pasta to it for a terrificly savory meal.  the first time i made this for my beloved e, he said it reminded him of goulash his mom made when he was growing up.  what’s funny is my mom also made a goulash, which i must’ve been inspired by, & it’s one of the many, many things we have in common from a time we didn’t know each other but can appreciate together now, years later. 

jk’s old school, sorta healthy, bolognese:


1 lb. – ground turkey
1 – medium yellow onion (chopped)
1 – red bell pepper (chopped)
12 oz. – sliced mushrooms (1 pkg.)
12 oz. – tomato pasta sauce (use whatever flavor you like)
1 cup – red wine
1/4 bag – pasta “al dente” (i use the low carb version – carba nada
butter, olive oil, minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, ground white pepper, kosher salt, & fresh cracked pepper

with the tomato sauce
with noodles & seasonings
all mixed together

pour a tsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet & sweat the onions with a tsp. of minced garlic for about 5 minutes.  add the chopped red pepper, season with salt & black pepper, & cook for another 3 minutes.  remove to a plate & add a tbspn. of butter to the pan.  sauté the mushrooms with a dash of both kosher salt & white pepper.  (i always season and cook my mushrooms separately with this flavor combination – it makes a difference.)  remove the mushrooms to the plate with the onions & red bell pepper concoction.  add the ground turkey to the same pan with a large dash of dried basil, dried oregano, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, kosher salt, & cracked pepper.  cook until thoroughly browned.  add a cup of red wine & all of the previous cooked ingredients (onion, red bell pepper, & mushroom).  as that simmers, start to boil the pasta with a hearty dash of salt.  add the tomato sauce & taste, adding any seasonings you might be missing.  (try this “al dente” pasta brand out – it’s great and cooks up, just like the name says, in about 3-5 minutes.)  add the pasta & a bit of pasta water to the tomato-turkey meat sauce.  stir all ingredients together, with election anticipation angst, season a bit more with crushed red pepper, add fresh basil, & serve.  grab the remote control & get ready… it’s going to be interesting!

About Jennie

i'm like you... a lover of food and life. i cook, i create, i photograph, i dream - i love.
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