Pasta with Ground Turkey, Carrot and Fennel


Are you looking for a pasta dinner that’s packed with flavor? This dish may be just the pasta for you if you like a lot of flavor and a pasta dish that packs a punch. I did add a good amount of red pepper flakes, which really added to the taste of the meat mixture.

I first browned the ground turkey in a tablespoon of olive oil. To the turkey, I added kosher salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Once the turkey was cooked, I removed it from the pan and set it aside in a bowl so I could sauté the carrots, fennel, onion and garlic. I added another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan before adding the chopped vegetables. I let the vegetables cook for about 8 minutes, until they started to soften, but the carrots still had a bit of crunch to them. At that point, I added 8 cloves of minced garlic and let that cook for just about 45 seconds before adding the ground turkey back into the skillet.

After the turkey and vegetables were married together, I added 1 cup of Pinot Grigio white wine.


Once the wine was added I was able to easily scrape up all the flavorful brown bits on the bottom of the pan and incorporate them into the meat and vegetable mixture.

I then added 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. At this point, I also added 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. I stirred everything together, turned the burner to medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes, giving the sauce time to thicken.

While the sauce was simmering, I cooked my pasta. I chose to use an artisan pasta, called Gigli. These are little bell shaped pasta “tubes” and I’m able to find this pasta at Trader Joe’s. Of course, you can use any pasta that you enjoy! The real flavor in this dish is in the meat sauce. My husband, Dennis, is actually going to be away at a dinner tomorrow night and I’m going to have leftover meat sauce served over white rice, which I think will be fabulous!


I love the taste of Toscano Black Pepper cheese, also found at Trader Joe’s. I chose this as the cheese I would garnish my pasta dish with, as well as chopped fresh basil.


1 pound lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus some for the pasta water
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Pinot Grigio
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
fresh basil for garnish
Toscana Black Pepper cheese (or parmesan if you don’t have Toscana)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet. Add ground turkey, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned and crumbly, and no longer pink, 7-10 minutes. Remove turkey from skillet into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the same skillet. Add carrots, fennel and onion, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables start to soften 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 45 seconds.
  3. Bring turkey back to the skillet and mix with the vegetables.
  4. Add wine and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and stir. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken a bit.
  6. Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure to add some kosher salt to the water before boiling.
  7. Spoon meat sauce over pasta, top with basil and freshly grated Toscana cheese.


Until next time, Kris



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