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November 20, 2012

Bolognese from Thanksgiving leftovers

Traditional Bolognese sauce is often made by braising a classic combination of root vegetables together with a blend of ground veal and pork. Delicious, but also demanding of time.

This Bolognese Sauce, from Amesbury novelist and food blogger Jane Ward, is made with Thanksgiving leftovers. Perfect for when time is limited, this twist on a classic Italian meal is undeniably delicious. Using the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and a generous amount of cooked carrots, the sauce comes together very quickly.

Ward strongly advises that it is important to be bold with your herbs and spices. Seasoning is always essential when making a quick sauce and it is important that you taste the sauce during every step of preparation.

Once the turkey meat is warmed through entirely, serve the sauce over your favorite pasta or polenta. Says Ward, “You can’t ask for a better dinner, and it was all made in under 30 minutes.”

Thanksgiving Bolognese


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 ribs celery or 1/2 fennel bulb, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup carrots, pre-cooked in a microwave for 5 to 9 minutes (depending on size) then chopped

1 cup dry red or white wine

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 sprig rosemary

2, 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

1 pound cooked shredded turkey meat, or meat of preference (for this recipe Ward uses beef chuck roast)

fresh parsley for serving


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.

2. Sauté the chopped onion, celery or fennel, and the garlic until softened but not browned.

3. Add to this the cooked chopped carrots and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste, rosemary sprig, and bay leaf. Stir.

4. Add the wine to the pan and simmer to reduce by half. Once reduced, add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer uncovered to cook and thicken the tomato sauce.

5. Once the desired thickness has been reached, add the shredded beef to the pot. Simmer to heat the beef through. When warmed, remove the rosemary and bay leaf and discard. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve hot over pasta or polenta.


Recipe courtesy of chef and novelist Jane Ward, 2012.

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