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Penne with Turkey Tomato Ragu

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Yield 4 servings
By David Bonom and Marge Perry
This healthier version of classic meat ragu gets its smoky depth thanks to judicious use of bacon.


  • 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 cans (14.5-ounce) 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

How to Make It

  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.

  3. Top with additional cheese if desired.