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Lightened-Up Bolognese Sauce
Light Bolognese sauce
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3.225 (40 rated)
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This lightened up meat sauce cuts down on cook time and calorie count, but doesn't lose any of the rib-sticking, slow-simmered comfort of classic Bolognese sauce. It's a win-win.


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 pound ground beef
    • 1/2 pound ground turkey
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk
    • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
    • 1 pound spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, or other long pasta


In a medium-to-large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until the onions are very soft and starting to brown at the edges. 

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the beef and turkey, in batches if necessary, breaking the meat into small pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally to break the meat up further, until browned. Stir in the tomato paste until it coats the meat and vegetables. Cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, to cook the paste. Reduce the heat to medium. Pour the wine into the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes until the wine is mostly absorbed, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits into the sauce. Stir in the milk and cook for a few minutes more, then stir in the broth. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour until the sauce is thick and rich. Toss with 1 pound cooked spaghetti or your favorite long pasta and serve. Or freeze it!

Let the sauce cool for 15-20 minutes off heat, then ladle into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen sauce in the refrigerator, then reheat in a saucepan over low heat before serving with pasta.