Penne with Turkey Tomato Ragu

A healthier version of a classic tomato meat ragu over pasta, this is made with lean ground turkey given smoky depth with just a little bacon.

Servings: 4


  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 12 ounces lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  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.