This recipe may be adjusted, if less sauce is desired. But, it does freeze well.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 pounds button mushrooms
- 3 medium white onions
- 7 cloves fresh garlic, minced, or 1 heaping tablespoon jarred minced garlic
- 1 medium red bell pepper (optional)
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 2 6 oz. cans low sodium tomato paste
- 4 14.5 oz. cans low sodium diced tomatoes, with Italian seasoning
- ½ cup red wine (cabernet sauvignon), optional
- 2 Tablespoons dried basil
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning Mix (Pampered Chef)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
- ½ Tablespoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional), or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional
- 2 pounds whole wheat spaghetti or any favorite pasta
- Shredded low sodium Mozzarella, or Italian blend cheese, for serving
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a five quart Dutch oven over medium high heat for five minutes. Dice onions, mushrooms and red pepper, if using, and add to hot oil. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic about 1 minute before turkey to avoid burning. Blend seasonings in a small bowl and set aside. After the veggies have cooked for five minutes, add the tomato paste and ground turkey. Break up the meat with a bamboo spoon, or mix ‘n’ Chop (Pampered Chef). Cook for fifteen minutes, stirring every three to five minutes. Add all remaining ingredients after the turkey has cooked for fifteen minutes and cook for another fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, bring eight quarts of plain, unsalted water to a boil and cook the pasta for ten minutes. Drain the pasta and serve with sauce, cheese and torn basil leaves, if desired. Add a tossed salad and garlic bread for an unforgettable Italian dinner. It is even better the next day.
This sauce is very versatile. It works well as filling for stuffed peppers when mixed with cooked rice, sour cream and cheese. You can also use it for deep-dish pizza, or baked ziti and many other pasta dishes.
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