Summer Bolognese

*This post for Summer Bolognese first appeared on June 16th, 2009. I updated the recipe and reshot the photographs. This is a go to pasta recipe that I LOVE because it packs in all the flavors of summer and comes out light, bright and flavorful. The text below is original and back when I was 27 and apparently didn’t understand technology. How is 35 year old Brandy more tech savvy than 27 year old Brandy?


This summer Bolognese is packed full of fresh pasta, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, white wine and ground turkey. It’s light and flavorful and perfect for summer. Plus it’s ready in just 25 minutes!

This summer Bolognese is packed full of fresh pasta, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, white wine and ground turkey. It's light and flavorful and perfect for summer. Plus it's ready in just 25 minutes!

{Pictures updated July 2017}

Don’t you just love when you get something new? I recently got a new cell phone and it’s giving me all the feels! Until I realize I’m not smart enough to actually use the phone.  When did cell phones become so hard to use? I’m only 27 and sometimes I feel so out of touch with technology. I remember my very first cell phone. It was large and clunky (not as bad as the Zach Morris phone) and I loved it. I felt so grown up having that phone.

I had a whopping 500 day minutes and 500 night minutes and I never even used all the minutes. Now I have a phone that can take pictures, sync to my iTunes, access my Facebook, check my email and a million more features I have yet to discover.  I have a phone plan that gives me unlimited everything and on average talk 3000 minutes a month and send 500 text messages. Just to let you all know when I wrote that out I realized how horrible that sounds. I talk 3000 minutes a month! Good grief. I need to learn a hobby STAT!

This summer Bolognese is packed full of fresh pasta, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, white wine and ground turkey. It's light and flavorful and perfect for summer. Plus it's ready in just 25 minutes!

So while I’m trying to figure out this cool new phone I decided to keep my new trend going and try a new summer pasta recipe.  Talk about delicious!!! It’s light, easy to make and full of fresh veggies and tons of basil.  I think this summer bolognese truly does look like summer.  I also love that it’s made with ground turkey so it’s a bit healthier than ground beef.

This summer Bolognese is packed full of fresh pasta, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, white wine and ground turkey. It's light and flavorful and perfect for summer. Plus it's ready in just 25 minutes!

Looking for more pasta in your life? Try my Pesto Chicken Caprese Pastaspicy pork noodle bowl, zucchini tomato kale pasta, Italian Sausage and Kale PastaOne Pot Cheddar Cajun Pork Pasta or my spring vegetable pappardelle.


Summer Bolognese

This summer Bolognese is packed full of fresh pasta, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, white wine and ground turkey. It's light and flavorful - perfect for summer.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes per batch

Total Time: 25 minutes per batch


  • 12 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped


Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a spoon, for 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and fold in the zucchini and basil. Serve over the pasta

Original photos:

Summer Bolognese by Nutmeg NannySummer Bolognese by Nutmeg Nanny

40 Responses to “Summer Bolognese”

  1. #
    Erin — June 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    This looks really yummy. I think my kids would enjoy it. They love pasta and trying to get them to eat healthier is hard to do when they are bombarded with ads all day on tv for junk food. Its quick and easy to make too for when they’re at my feet saying “Mommy I’m HUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYY” 🙂

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

      Feed those hungry kids!!! Hehe…I love little Ant and Glo:)

  2. #
    Natasha - 5 Star Foodie — June 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    This pasta does sound great for summer with zucchini and basil! Super delicious!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

      Thanks! I love the added zucchini.

  3. #
    peachkins — June 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    wow,this pasta is healthy and delicious!Good luck with your new phone..

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:21 am

      I love that it’s a healthier lighter option for the summer. Thanks for the wishes on the phone…it’s a learning process…haha.

  4. #
    zoe — June 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I love ground turkey! Great recipe.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:22 am

      It’s really delicious and the ground turkey stays really moist and super flavorful.

  5. #
    burpexcuzme — June 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    hahaha, you are hilarious. I’m only 21, but I still have trouble with all the savvy technologies. I just can’t be bothered to read the manual, and there are simply too many gadgets to keep track of!
    And the pasta looks amazingly comforting and satisfying. Perfect for anytime!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:23 am

      Oh yeah manuals are not my friend. I always somehow think I can figure it out w/out the help of the manual. I’m glad you like the recipe and good luck with any savvy new gadgets that come your way:)

  6. #
    Blond Duck — June 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I’m so craving pasta for tommorow’s dinner…..this looks phenomenal! Much lighter and tastier for summer!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

      It’s great for the warm weather!

  7. #
    foodcreate — June 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

    🙂 Tasteful! I love Pasta and just a great dish for the whole family!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    Welcome~~~stopby don’t be shy~~~

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

      Thanks! I’ll stop by:)

  8. #
    Blond Duck — June 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I really do adore this pasta.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:27 am

      Thank you:) I hope you enjoyed it!!!

  9. #
    Sara — June 17, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I love the sound of this one – I just stocked up on ground turkey, so I may try this very soon!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:27 am

      I hope you enjoy it!

  10. #
    Reeni — June 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    This looks so delicious. The wine sauce sounds so good with all that fresh basil. I just got a new phone too and I don’t even know how to set up my voice-mail! I don’t even use half of the stuff on there, but I guess it’s nice to have internet on your phone, just in case your stuck somewhere and bored or something!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:30 am

      Hahaha it sounds like we are in the same boat as far as new techy phones go:) Good luck on your voice-mail and I hope you figure our your new phone (I hope the same for me too….lol). Oh and the internet on the phone is a great thing for when I’m bored and waiting in the car…how did I ever like without it???

  11. #
    nora@ffr — June 18, 2009 at 6:47 am

    hmm ye pasta sound delish and healthy.. m sure gonna try this out for dinner.. btw good luck with ye new phone 🙂

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 18th, 2009 @ 10:31 am


  12. #
    Aimee — June 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Oh YUM! I’m a pasta freak and summer pastas are the best! I hear you about the cell phone, i can’t operate my husbands, so there’s no chance of ever getting my own.

  13. #
    foodcreate — June 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I love pasta in the summer time and your looks so good!

    Good Luck with your Cell phone! take it to one of guys in the store.

  14. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 20, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Mmm… your pasta looks so delicious. Good luck with the cell phone! I used to be horrible with cell phones, but I recently got an iPhone… Now I’m addicted!

  15. #
    mrssnell — June 25, 2009 at 12:10 am

    In not too long a time, I’m going to have fresh produce to work with from local (including my own) harvest. I am so going to try this recipe. I’m certain my whole family will absolutely love it! It’s a great one for me, too, since I can’t eat red meat.

    Thanks bunches!

  16. #
    krissy @ the food addicts — June 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    your recipe sounds great – i am a huge fan of pasta, so anything new is fascinating! also, great point on the cell phones & technology these days. i’m only 27 too and i dont even bother to learn everything on my blackberry… and they keep coming out with new ones that are even more confusing and complicated!!! imagine what it would be like when we’re 50?!

  17. #
    Carrie — July 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    This looks absolutely delish! Will have to try it very soon.

  18. #
    Susan — July 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Wow. This looks SO good & I believe I can use what I have on hand to make it, thus allowing it into the Pantry Raid Challenge! Thanks a bunch!

    Also, I am glad I finally looked around long enough to see a picture of you. Around here, Nanny is a common name for Grandma, so I kept picturing you as an old lady! 🙂 Too cute you are!

  19. #
    Alyssa | EverydayMaven — August 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Beautiful! You are inspiring me. I have SO MANY to update and have been procrastinating hard.

  20. #
    Delaney | Melanie Makes — August 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I want to have this for dinner tonight!

  21. #
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious — August 22, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    What a delicious way to use some fresh garden veggies!

  22. #
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet — August 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Awesome update on those pics and this is such great comfort food!

  23. #
    Michelle Goth — August 23, 2017 at 3:25 am

    You’re right, it definitely packs in the flavors of summer. Gorgeous photos!

  24. #
    carrie @ frugal foodie mama — August 23, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Your updated photos are gorgeous! I am definitely going to have to whip up this bolognese before summer’s end. Looks delicious! 🙂

  25. #
    Cathy @ Lemon Tree Dwelling — August 24, 2017 at 8:21 am

    What a DELICIOUS plate of food! I want it for dinner tonight!

  26. #
    Sabrina — August 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    love bolognese and this is a nice version, thank you! Bolognese is a nice respite from the tomato-y Italian dishes that are more common, at least in my experience, so love this!

  27. #
    Janine — July 29, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    This recipe looks great. I recently had to give up tomatoes for the acidity. Any suggestion of something else I can try in the place of tomatoes? Thanks.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — September 6th, 2019 @ 8:59 pm

      Hi Janine – honestly I’m not sure what you could use in place of tomatoes. You can always add more vegetables but the tomatoes do add a little moisture to the recipe. You could try and find lower acid tomatoes to use in the recipe. Thanks!

  28. #
    luxuretv — November 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Angry Italian mode: ON Why call it Bolognese? There is no such thing as “light Ragu”, or Ragu with spaghetti Angry Italian mode: OFF Looks very summery and delicious, looking forward to try it

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