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Penne with Turkey Tomato Ragu

Penne with Turkey Tomato Ragu

By David Bonom and Marge Perry. A healthier version of the classic meat ragu gets smoky depth without a lot of added calories or fat, thanks to the judicious use of bacon.


  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon,, chopped
  • 12 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 medium onion,, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot,, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parlsey


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions; drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the turkey and basil; cook, breaking turkey into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, cook until vegetables are somewhat softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a simmer and immediately reduce heat to medium; gently simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, pepper and parsley and serve over penne. Top with additional cheese if desired.