Pasta nights totally excite me! Give me a meaty, hearty marinara sauce with a thick noodle plus cheese and I'm a happy girl! This simple recipe is nothing more than fresh tomato sauce with some add ins to make it even more tasty!
I'm still sticking with ground turkey on this one, but added Italian mild sausage to get that fennel, herby flavor. It definitely kicks it up a notch with that meaty flavor that ground turkey does not have because it's such a lean meat.
My bolognese sauce does not contain red or white wine like most recipes have, but of course it can be added. Just make sure to cook out that wine!
I love ricotta cheese, especially in my lasagna..For this reason, adding the ricotta and baking until a golden brown top is my finishing touch to make this dish shine.
Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce and Topped Ricotta
Yield: 8-10 servings
1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 cans peeled tomatoes, each can 28 ounces (San Marzano)
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 small carrots, diced
1 shallot or half sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes *optional
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella *optional
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
Heat a large sauce pot over medium high heat and drizzle olive oil in the pot. Add in the shallots and carrot, start cooking down for about 3-5 minutes.
Add in the ground turkey, Italian sausage and garlic. Start cooking down and continue stirring so it evenly cooks for about 8-10 minutes until browned.
Once the meat mixture is cooked, drizzle in some olive oil and add in the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes until the tomato paste is evenly incorporated throughout the meat.
Pour the cans of tomatoes, sugar, and crushed chile flakes into the pot and stir continuously for about 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft enough to crush with your flat wooden spatula or spoon.
Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stir occasionally for about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta, parsley, basil, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a large rectangle baking dish by buttering or drizzling some olive oil. (11” or 13”)
Once the water is boiling, generously salt the water like the sea. Add pasta and cook to al dente, about 2-3 minutes less than what package states.
Add 2 tbsp of butter in the sauce and stir. Taste and add salt to the bolognese sauce, if needed, or add more crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
Combine the cooked pasta into the bolognese sauce pot and pour into the baking dish.
*Optional Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese
Create little wells in the pasta and place about 1 ½ to 2 tbsp of the ricotta mixture in different areas of the pasta.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until bubbly.