Spaghetti With Turkey Ragu (serves 4)

Spaghetti with Turkey Ragu

Today was a lazy Sunday. I dubbed it a lazy day when I watched my daughter cutting long strips of pale lilac paper, stopping short at the end, and then cutting another strip until the whole sheet looked like the fringe of a fancy dress. She then cut them across and the pieces fell to the table in a cascade of tiny squares. I inquired if she was making confetti, and if so, “why”? She said “yes”, and “because it was something to do”.  That made it official. If someone resorts to idly making confetti, you can be sure they have nothing to do.

Hand-cut lilac confetti

I didn’t see this as a bad thing. We have been busy for far too long, and this action indicated to me we had begun to exhale, to relax, to breath. The piles of paper dropping from her scissors reminded me of the campo in Siena, where only a few months earlier I watched my daughter collect the tiny colorful confetti that lay in every space between the bricks and then fling it all into the air for the pure fun of it (type “Lunch in Siena; Spectacular” in search box to read more). Now everyone is in bed as I write, all the while itching to fling into the air her painstakingly made confetti that sits on the table beside me. I just can’t do it, as then I will have to clean it all up in case she races down the stairs in the morning to find it.

The confetti-covered campo in Siena

Thinking about Siena, made me think about Italy, and that made me remember how much this daughter of mine always ordered ragu everywhere we went. I had ground turkey in the fridge and a can of tomatoes in my cupboard, and so, I was going to make ragu for dinner, all because of confetti. It was the perfect dish to end our lazy day (and delicious).


You will need: 3 or 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil,2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 large sweet onion, diced, 1 thinly carrot, sliced or diced, 1 stalk celery, chopped, 3 slices streaky bacon, chopped, 1 lb ground turkey, 1 28oz can tomatoes and their juices, chopped, 1 tbs tomato paste concentrate, 2 tbs freshly chopped oregano, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes, 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional), 1 tsp sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand).

1 – Prep all ingredients as instructed above.

Saute veggies

2 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add oil. When it warms, add the bacon,  garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oregano, pepper flakes, salt and several grinds of pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.

add turkey, then tomatoes

3 – Add turkey and cook for another 5 minutes (turn heat up if you need to). Add the tomatoes, paste and bring to a boil. Turn heat down until sauce reaches a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

*while sauce is cooking, put pot of water on for pasta and cook according to instruction. time the pasta to be ready when the sauce is completely finished. Reserve a cup of pasta water in case you need it to loosen your sauce*

Serve plain or with cheese

4 – Stir in cream and take off of heat.

To serve; place spaghetti in the bottom of a bowl, top with sauce, and add cheese if you like.

Things to do with cut-up paper and a single flower petal!

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