Once again, I found myself sifting through my freezer, before I finish Uni for the year, and I came across a pack of lean turkey mince. Not only is turkey mince far cheaper than beef or lamb mince it is also far healthier. I really enjoy treating myself, but it is great finding healthier recipes that taste just as good!
I have made turkey burgers before which were delicious, but I fancied making something a bit different, so this time I chose turkey Bolognese. As turkey mince is less calorific, less fatty and higher in protein it was a great choice after a busy few days in the gym, whilst also delivering that comfort food feeling with the rich tomato sauce and pasta. I found a great recipe by The Kitchen Alchemist and was excited to give it a go.
My ingredients were
- 450g Turkey mince
- 450g Passata
- 1 White onion
- 1 Red pepper
- 1 Red chilli
- 2 Small cloves of garlic (or 1 large)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1tbsp Sugar
- 1tsp Chilli flakes
- 2tbsp Mixed herbs
- Salt and Pepper (heavy on the pepper)
I started off by heating a big drizzle of oil in my casserole dish over a high heat on the hob. Once the oil had become piping hot I added the diced onion, red pepper and the finely chopped red chilli. I used a little water to ensure the ingredients didn’t stick to the pan as they browned.
After about 5/10 minutes I introduced the turkey mince; breaking it up with my wooden spoon so that it began to cook all over. Once the turkey mince had coloured I then added the minced garlic and continued to cook for a few more minutes.
The next ingredients I needed to add were the 450g passata- you could use chunky chopped tomatoes instead- chilli, sugar, salt and pepper. At this point I also added 1tbsp of dried basil and another of dried oregano. These herbs give the dish a more Italian feel and make the sauce smell, and taste, amazing.
Once everything was combined and mixed together I turned the hob down to a low/medium heat and covered the pan with the lid. I then left this to simmer for around 25 minutes. In this time all of the amazing spices, herbs and flavours marinated into the turkey mince and passata giving it a rich flavour.
Whilst the Bolognese was still simmering I cooked up a big portion of whole-wheat pasta. I was making enough for one portion for myself and another to take to work, however, I managed to cook enough for a small family?!
After the 25 minutes were up I added two ladles of pasta water- just as the pasta was nearing the end- and the juice of one lemon. The recipe calls for one juicy lemon and I was in luck. Once the lemon and pasta water had been added to the Bolognese I gave it a big stir, ensuring all the liquid had soaked in.
I drained off the pasta once it had cooked and got ready to plate up. At this point it would be the perfect time to add fresh parsley or basil and a hearty helping of parmesan cheese, however I am trying to save money and reduce food waste, so I didn’t add these ingredients to my shopping list. Instead, once my Bolognese was piled onto my pasta, I added another sprinkle of pepper and it was ready to eat.
I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome as I am always very aware that no Bolognese will ever come close to my Mum’s! But, however, I think I did give it a good shot and I am happy I will have got a good helping of protein too.
As I said, turkey mince is really good value, I got mine in Aldi for about £1.40, and the Bolognese recipe has made enough for about 4/5 portions. To make the whole big batch the cost would be around £2.75 (inc. an estimation regarding the price of dried herbs), making it an amazing 70p per portion.
Not only can this be eaten with pasta, but the recipe also suggests using it as a side to a crispy jacket potato, or with rice, as an alternative to chilli. I would definitely recommend this easy yet tasty recipe. If you fancy it, follow the link below: