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Baked Rigatoni with Turkey Bolognese Sauce



I really enjoy rich baked pastas, but my waistline does not so much.  When making them at home you can easily adjust a recipe to make it a little more figure-friendly.  Granted, a baked pasta will never be considered "good for you" you can still make subtle adjustments here and there without sacrificing too much flavor.  


Bolognese sauces seem like a sauce that just scream "Bake Me" to me for some reason.  I think because they're so rich and hearty.  With this Bolognese sauce I replaced the ground beef with heart healthier ground turkey.  I also used skim milk instead of whole, or even 2%, as well as 2% cheese.  Just a few small steps can make a difference.  Also, I prefer to pair this sauce with sturdier pastas, such as rigatoni.  It seems to hold up better, and I love that you get more great sauce with each bite when it makes its way in to the tube of the noodle!

Baked Rigatoni with Turkey Bolognese SauceIngredients: 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ cup Grated Carrots
1/2 Large Red Onion, Diced
1 pound Ground Turkey
1 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoons Dried Basil Flakes
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
2-3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 cup Red Wine
a few dashes of Worcestershire
1 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
1/2 cup Milk (I used skim)
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 lb. rigatoni
1 cup Mozarella Cheese, shredded



Instructions: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and then add in the ground turkey. Cook for a few minutes until no longer pink, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture.

Throw in oregano and basil. When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. Add Worcestershire and stir. Add canned tomatoes. Finally, pour in milk, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours—however long you need.

While simmering, boil rigatoni as directed on the package.  Drain and add to the simmering sauce, combining sauce and noodles gently.

Transfer pasta to a 9x13 casserole dish, spreading evenly.  Top with shredded mozzarella and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

(I like to separate the pasta in 2 or 3 casserole dishes so that I can freeze some for later.  No need to bake before freezing)
Source: Adapted from
Pioneer Woman

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