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Cavatelli Pasta with Turkey and Sausage Tomato Ragu

Ryan hardy's Cavatelli Pasta with Turkey and Sausage Tomato RaguTODAY, November 11 2016.
Ryan hardy's Cavatelli Pasta with Turkey and Sausage Tomato Ragu TODAY, November 11 2016.Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 pound hot Italian pork sausage, casing removed
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, minced
  • 1/2 cup fennel, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 15 ounces canned peeled tomatoes, smashed with your hands
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound frozen fresh cavatelli pasta or dried cavatelli pasta
  • Grated pecorino cheese or your favorite cheese, for garnish

Chef notes

New York City chef Ryan Hardy tosses cavatelli pasta in a hearty turkey and sausage ragu for a delicious Italian dinner. If you can't find fresh cavatelli pasta, you can use dried cavatelli pasta or another pasta shape that has lots of nooks and crannies to carry the delicious sauce.



Preheat a large pan over high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan followed by the turkey and Italian sausage. Cook until well colored without stirring.


Flip and caramelize the other side. Remove the meat from the pan, but leave the fat and add the onion, carrot, fennel and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat stirring frequently until the vegetables are translucent and soft, about 20 minutes. Add the kale and tomato paste and cook an additional 5 minutes until all of the kale is wilted.


Add the saffron and white wine to the pan and reduce by half. Add the meat back to the mixture. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and chicken stock. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until all the meat is soft and tender. Smash the meat with the back of a spoon for a better ragu texture.


In a large pot of salted water, cook the cavatelli for about 15 to 20 minutes. Lift from the water and toss together with the ragu sauce. Top with pecorino or your favorite cheese and enjoy immediately!