stuffed peppers with but instead decided to whip up a homemade meat sauce instead. It turned out great! It involved ingredients that I had in my pantry and fridge, throw it all on the stove and let it simmer together to make a fantastic flavorful sauce!
1/2 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cans (14 oz) stewed Italian style tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
noodles of choice
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer at least 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in another pan and add the ground turkey, salt, pepper, and parsley. Cook most of the way through, breaking up the meat.
3. After 1 hour is up stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and ground meat into the tomato sauce and simmer 30 minutes more.
4. While the sauce is finishing up get your noodles cooked by following the directions on the package.
5. When noodles are done, take 3-4 ladles full of the starchy pasta water and add it to the tomato sauce to help thin it out a little bit and help the sauce stick to the noodles!
6. Top pasta with sauce and shred some fresh Parmesan cheese on top (could sprinkle some more fresh basil and or parsley on top as well!)
**Randi's Side Notes**
~ This recipe is sooooo versatile. You could add lots of different veggies to this like mushrooms, carrots, peppers, anything. If you want to hide some veggies in it, try taking one of the cans of tomatoes and putting it in the blender with a bunch of veggies and blending them together. Your kids (or picky husbands) won't even know they are there!
~ This would also be great with these great Italian Turkey Meatballs.
~ Want to cut out the noodles for gluten free? No problem...serve it over spaghetti squash for the same texture, or serve it over some hollowed out zucchini halves to make zucchini boats!! (For the zucchini boats you would want to bake the zucchini with some of the sauce first) Or just use your favorite gluten free noodle.
~ Don't like the Italian stewed tomatoes? Just use two large cans of crushed tomatoes and add some of your own spices (dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, or the trusty Italian seasoning)
~ You could also use ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, ground bison, ground chicken...anything...you could even combine some of the meats together which would be fantastic!