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Summer Bolognese

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*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!

{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!

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.

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: