Lately I’ve been getting lots of requests to post more dinner-y recipes, and it made me realise that I never share my favourite dinner meals. So here’s a weeknight favourite in our household – Mum’s (Not Nonna’s) Turkey Spag Bol. I don’t have a Nonna, nor do I have an Italian heritage (a reality that makes me sad quite often), but if I did I wouldn’t dare serve her this rendition to her, in fear of having the veggie-packed and gluten, onion and garlic free morsels spat right back at me.
It’s no secret that traditional spaghetti bolognese gets a bad nutritional rap from its core ingredients: low quality beef mince cooked in nasty oils, gluten, and cheese. And as delicious and comforting as a giant bowl of ole spag bol from your local Italian joint may be –and sometimes totally granted– it’s not a very healthful choice to make too regularly. What’s more, if you’ve got fructose malabsorption or IBS it’s pretty much out of bounds anyway, thanks to all the onion and garlic.
Being the ever-accommodating woman that she is, my fabulous mumma came up with a spag bol that’s wholesome, FODMAP friendly, fills the boys up, and tastes GREAT! It has to be said that she’s becoming an expert at de-FODMAPifying recipes, and her Turkey Spag Bol is a true testimony to this. On that note, I can’t wait to share her low FODMAP Sri Lankan Chicken Curry recipe with you one day soon!
I hope you love this no-frills but tasty weeknight dinner as much as we do. Just please don’t serve it to your Nonna.
Low FODMAP Turkey Spag Bol
- 1kg free range turkey mince (organic if possible)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1/2 – 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes*, cut into halves or quarters (see notes for fructose info)
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 1 green capsicum, diced
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes (no added sugar or preservatives)
- 3/4 cup salt reduced tomato paste* (see notes for fructose info)
- 8 spring/green onions, chopped (green part only)
- 1 3/4 cups LOW FODMAP veg or chicken stock
- 1.5 tbs dried oregano
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, torn
- Coconut oil
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 packet gluten free spaghetti or other pasta of choice (I love brown rice noodles or buckwheat pasta)
- To serve: fresh basil leaves & shaved parmesan (optional)
- Heat some coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Sautée the spring onions, carrot, eggplant, zucchini, capsicums and sun-dried tomatoes, stirring for around 7 minutes or until the veggies have started to soften. Remove from pot and transfer to a heat-safe bowl.
- Heat some more coconut oil in the pot and add the turkey mince. Cook the mince on medium heat until browned (around 8 minutes), using a wooden spoon to break it up as you go.
- Add the cooked veggies to the pot along with the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, stock, fresh basil and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for a minimum of 40 minutes. If I have time, I leave it for at least an hour. The longer you leave it (within reason – you don’t want to overcook the meat!), the richer and more flavourful it will be.
- Serve with one ladle’s worth of gluten free pasta of choice, and garnish with extra torn basil and shaved parmesan. For a paleo or lower carb version, use the turkey mixture to stuff into roasted eggplants (see recipe below).
- Those with high sensitivities to fructose should use 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, or even less if you’re unsure
- Due to the concentrated form of tomato paste, some people with very high sensitivities to fructose might find it problematic in large amounts, though I’ve never had an issue with it. Use less if you’re unsure of your tolerance levels, and add more fresh and dried herbs to make up the flavour.
Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Eggplants
Please note that due to the polyol (sorbitol) content in large amounts of eggplant (“large” is defined by Monash as 2 1/4 cups), those who malabsorb polyols should either use smaller eggplants or avoid this variation until you are sure of your eggplant tolerance.
- 4 large eggplants to serve 8 people, or 1/2 eggplant per person.
- Turkey Bolognese recipe above, minus the pasta (can be made in advance)
- 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Use a fork to prick the eggplants several times. Place on prepared tray and lightly brush over with coconut oil. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tender.
- If you made the bolognese in advance, reheat however much of it you’re using (roughly 1-1.5 cups per person)
- Cut the eggplants in half length-ways. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the flesh from each half, leaving a 1cm boarder. Chop the scooped out flesh. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the eggplant halves.
- Mix the chopped eggplant through the heated Turkey Bolognese. Spoon mixture into the eggplant halves and sprinkle shaved parmesan (optional) over the top, if using. Return stuffed eggplants to the oven for 10 minutes, or until all heated through. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.