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Spaghetti sauce is one of those convenient to buy in a jar things, but so easy to make homemade.  Whip up a double, triple or quadruple batch and freeze  in portioned amounts for fresh marinara meat sauce any night of the week.

A variety of tomatoes, tomato juice and lean ground turkey give this pasta topper a rich and creamy texture.  Fresh basil adds a touch of green sweetness to round out all the simmered flavors.  Serve on hot cooked multigrain or wheat pasta, top with fresh grated parmesan cheese if desired. 

A traditional family meal made healthy, inexpensive, and super tasty!  Add a big green salad and that’s amore! (insert Italian accent here)

one-pot basil marinara with meat sauce

  • 5 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, (divided)
  • 1 small RED or YELLOW ONION, chopped
  • 16 oz LEAN GROUND TURKEY, 93/7
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, minced, (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 28 oz TOMATOES, CRUSHED, canned
  • 28 oz TOMATOES, DICED, canned
  • 1 cup 100% TOMATO JUICE
  • 2 tsp BROWN SUGAR
  • 10 oz CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 2 BAY LEAVES, dried
  • 1/2 cup WATER
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 2 tbsp PARSLEY, FRESH, chopped, (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup BASIL, FRESH, chopped (or 2-3 tbsp dried)

Gluten Free Option: top on brown rice pasta or whole grain quinoa.

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and chopped onion with a little salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add turkey with 2 more Tbsp olive oil to onions and crumble, cook until almost browned. Stir in garlic and sauté a few additional minutes.

2. Stir cherry, crushed and diced tomatoes, with juices into turkey mixture. Add water, juice, brown sugar, remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and bay leaves; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, uncover and simmer 20-30 minutes.

3. Remove bay leaves and stir in fresh parsley, basil, and additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve sauce over hot cooked wheat, or multigrain pasta. Top with fresh shredded parmesan cheese, if desired. Serving size: about 1 1/4 cups sauce.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (pasta not included*): 230 calories, 12g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 35mg cholesterol, 16g carb, 3g fiber, 10g sugar, 14g protein

*One cup cooked pasta (2 oz. uncooked) usually equals around 200 calories (I used brown rice shell pasta).

VARIATIONS: Add chopped carrot, baby spinach or other vegetables to sauce. Use lean ground chicken or beef for turkey. Use any shape pasta desired.

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