Awesome Spaghetti With Turkey Meat Sauce. I’ve got a small backlog of posts to get to that involve, for the most part, even more sweeties. And chocolate. So to break up the sugar rush, I thought I’d share the number one dinner we have around here. Spaghetti with turkey meat sauce.
I’m not sure that it sounds appetizing (meat sauce?), but it is our absolute favorite thing to eat for dinner. I don’t even know that it looks that appetizing. I mean, come on, how good can ground meat really look? But it smells so fantastic, and when it’s all simmering together at the end, I have to restrain myself from eating it all up before the pasta is even done boiling.
This is another one of those ground turkey recipes that I picked up after watching my mom make it at home. I’ve tweaked this Spaghetti With Turkey Meat Sauce a little since I started making it myself, but the basic sauce is still there. However, you can work around the measurements for the ingredients, so any amounts listed here are just rough estimates. Play with the recipe as you like.
Oh, and also, I am not Italian by any means, so I’m quite sure this “meat sauce” is not at all close to a traditional bolognese. Please don’t be horrified by the ingredient list. It just tastes good.
Awesome Spaghetti With Turkey Meat Sauce
- 1 pack spaghetti - enough for you and whomever you are serving
- 1 pound ground turkey (minced turkey)
- ½ medium white onion - in a small dice
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped fine
- 15 ounces Marinara sauce (tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions – pasta sauce in southern hemisphere for Italian seafood dish)
- 3 ounces tomato paste - (half of a small can)
- 1 splash olive oil
- 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch salt - (I prefer kosher for this) to taste
- 1 pinch ground black pepper - to taste
- First, we must make the sauce. Heat a large saucepan (I use my enameled cast-iron casserole) to medium/medium-high. Pour in enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and sauteé until it starts to become translucent (around 2-3 minutes). Toss in a pinch of salt, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant (another minute or so).
- Add the ground turkey to the pan and stir well. Add a generous pinch or two of salt, a few turns of pepper, and a couple of teaspoons of garlic powder. You need to season the meat well before it browns so that the meat has a good flavor on its own and isn’t totally dependent on the sauce later. Brown the meat until almost all of the liquid in the pan has evaporated. If you’re used to ground beef, note that turkey won’t get nearly that dark, so don’t keep on cooking forever because it will get very dry.
- Once the turkey has browned, turn the heat down to low and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and dried oregano. Add an extra cup of water or so, and stir until it’s all combined. You may need to go after the tomato paste with the flat side of your spoon a bit, so it’s not a lurking mass. Add in the soy sauce and brown sugar and stir well.
- Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. This is also a good time to get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta. Then comes my favorite part: testing! I usually have to adjust the amounts of soy sauce and brown sugar until it tastes right. It should be just slightly sweet with a fairly strong savory flavor. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Nurmm… Anyway, you can let it simmer gently until you are ready to eat.
- Once you’ve got your sauce tasting just right, start cooking the pasta. It should take around 7-8 minutes, but check it regularly to make sure you pull it when it is al dente. I hate mushy pasta, and as fabulous as this sauce is, it cannot make up for watery, pasty noodles.