This weekend I decided that I wanted to make bolognese sauce and I checked my recipe before I went grocery shopping. I got all the ingredients and had everything ready, but then I got a wild idea and used the can of diced tomatoes in my Fra Diavolo Sauce. Yes, I have food ADD. I also forgot to take the ground beef out of the freezer, so I realized too late that I only had leftover ground turkey in the fridge from the pot stickers.
When you want to get dinner on the table fast, some times you need to make do with what you have. You don’t need to follow a recipe to the letter. I rarely do even when they are my own. I always look for ways to change it up and substitute other ingredients in. Last night was a perfect example of doing that so I wanted to give you some ideas to get you started. You definitely don’t have to give up and order take out. You just need a bit of creativity.
The original recipe called for one pound of ground beef, and I only had 8 oz of ground turkey so I cut the ingredients in half as a first step. I didn’t have a can of diced tomatoes but I had a few fresh tomatoes, so I guessed on the amount. After eyeballing the amount of tomatoes, I figured it was probably less than a can’s worth so I decided to bump up the tomato flavor by using a little tomato paste along with them. I crushed them with flat side of my knife and chopped them so they were smooshed like the canned ones.
I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to wait for the sauce to simmer and thicken, so I cut the amount of liquid down so that it would evaporate faster. That cut the simmer time down from an hour and 40 minutes to about 12. Boom! I also didn’t have time to boil pasta since yeah, it’s like watching a pot boil and I was hungry and impatient. Instead I roasted a bunch of parsnips in the oven while the sauce simmered and I served the sauce on top of the parsnips. 🙂
Make Do Bolognese Sauce
- 1/2 cup (50g) diced onion
- 1/2 cup (50g) diced celery
- 1/4 cup (32g) diced carrots
- 8 oz ground turkey (93/7)
- 2 oz pinot grigio
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup (116g) San Marzano or grape tomatoes, crushed and chopped
- 2 Tbsp (33g) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dice your onion, celery and carrots into small pieces and add to a large pot along with the ground turkey. Heat over medium heat and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes, breaking up the meat into chunks and stirring every now and then. Once there is no more pink left in the meat and the veggies are softened, add the wine, spices, broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Once the liquid has mostly evaporated and the sauce has thickened, stir in the almond milk. Cook for another minute or two just to heat the almond milk. Remove from heat.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 120 calories per serving – 12g protein, 9g carbs, and 4g fat.
Keep an open mind when you look at recipes and always think how you could make it your own. Don’t feel limited by the ingredients and experiment with things that you have that might be close. You never know what you might come up with that’s a new signature meal.