U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  • Turkey Bolognese With Shell Pasta

Anise seed makes turkey taste like Italian sausage, with none of the saturated fat; the red wine and dried mushrooms make this a uniquely delicious dish

Recipe Source: Deliciously Healthy Dinners


  • 1½ C dry red wine (optional)

  • ½ oz dried porcini mushrooms (optional)

  • 1 C onion, chopped

  • ½ C celery, rinsed and chopped

  • 1 C carrots, rinsed and thinly sliced or shredded

  • 1 Tbsp garlic, pressed or finely chopped (about 2–3 cloves)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 12 oz 99 percent lean ground turkey

  • 1 tsp anise seed

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 8 oz medium shell pasta

  • 4 Tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste

  • ½ C shredded parmesan cheese

calories 463
Total fat 9 g
Saturated fat 3 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Sodium 465 mg
Total fiber 5 g
Protein 35 g
Carbohydrates 47 g
Potassium 734 mg


  • 1
    Optional step: Bring the wine to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Break up the mushrooms, then stir them into the wine.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • 2
    Finely chop the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Or you can coarsely chop them, place them in a food processor, and pulse until all vegetables are finely chopped.

  • 3
    In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.

  • 4
    While the water is heating up, warm the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Crumble in the ground turkey.  Sprinkle with anise seed and salt.  Cook for 5–10 minutes to brown, stirring occasionally.

  • 5
    Meanwhile, when the water comes to a boil, add pasta to boiling water.  Cook according to package directions for the shortest recommended time, about 10–12 minutes.

  • 6
    Add vegetables to cooking turkey.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir 10 minutes until all vegetables are soft, but not browned. And tomato paste, and simmer for an additional 5–10 minutes. (Continue to optional step 7 if including the optional ingredients; otherwise, skip to step 8.)

  • 7
    Optional step: While the pasta and turkey mixture cooks, strain mushrooms, draining unabsorbed wine directly into the turkey mixture.  Place mushrooms on a cutting board and chop finely, or place in food processor and pulse once or twice to more finely chop mushrooms.  Stir mushrooms into turkey mixture.  Simmer for 10–15 minutes to blend flavors. 

  • 8
    Drain pasta.  Add pasta to turkey mixture (the minimum internal temperature of cooked turkey should be 165 °F). Stir to blend well.

  • 9
    Divide pasta mixture evenly (about 2 cups each) among four dinner plates.  Top each with 2 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese. 

Tip: Serve with a side sliced fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and balsamic vinegar.

Keep the Beat is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.