Love Your Leftovers – Turkey Ragu

turkey ragu I have half a turkey sitting in my fridge, slowly getting picked at, put in sandwiches and dipped in leftover bread sauce or mayonnaise.  

This evening I had intended to make a turkey curry, and for us to eat it with rice and home made naan bread, but I couldn’t find a recipe I liked the look of, or that I had all the ingredients for.  You have probably realised I am not a stickler for following recipes and generally venture off piste on my own little culinary adventure, but I’m running low on the basics, and so turkey curry was swiftly abandoned for something a little more European. 

Instead I made a turkey ragu, which was made with all sorts of Christmassy leftovers, including braised red cabbage and cranberry sauce.

It was beautiful.  Sweet and savoury and rich and we ate it over spaghetti and covered it with Grana Padano cheese.  A really yummy way to use up Christmas leftovers. 

turkey ragu

Look at that!  How could you not want to eat that?  Here is the printable recipe. 

Turkey Ragu
Serves 4
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
356 calories
27 g
59 g
15 g
25 g
5 g
408 g
685 g
16 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356
Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 59mg
Sodium 685mg
Total Carbohydrates 27g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 16g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 100g cubetti di pancetta, or bacon
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped up small
  3. 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 courgette - grated
  5. leftover braised red cabbage (optional)
  6. 2-3 tbsp cranberry sauce
  7. 1 - 11/2 tbsp tomato puree
  8. 150g leftover turkey meat, shredded or sliced up. You can use white or dark meat for this.
  9. A good grating of nutmeg
  10. A glass of red wine - about 125mls.
  11. A splash of worcestershire sauce
  12. 1tsp vegetable bouillon
  1. In a large frying pan (and preferably one with a lid) fry the pancetta (or bacon) and onion with the lid on for 3-5 minutes - until the onion begins to soften and the fat has begun to render from the meat.
  2. Then add the grated courgette, celery, red cabbage (if using) and nutmeg. Already this should be beginning to smell beautiful.
  3. Next, add the cranberry sauce, tomato purée, worcestershire sauce and wine and turn up the heat so it bubbles rapidly. Give it all a good stir, and then add a splash of water. Then, sprinkle over the vegetable bouillon and add in the chopped up turkey.
  4. Put the lid back on and reduce the heat. You should aim to let this bubble and reduce on a medium-low heat for at least 20-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked and soft, and the meat can be pulled apart. Test the flavours and seasoning sporadically, and adjust as you feel is necessary. You should end up with a nice rich sauce, which is slightly sweet and fruity.
  5. Serve over pasta cooked al dente (nothing more rank than overcooked pasta) - and whilst I know Italians wouldn't serve a sauce like this with spaghetti, it's my favourite pasta, so thats what we had it with.
  6. Buon appetito!
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