This is essentially a robust marinara sauce with the addition of meat, but I suppose that's the definition of a proper ragoux. I decided to use turkey because of the lower fat content and the fact that I'm a bit more experienced with it. Hopefully you'll enjoy this recipe as much as my friends and I did!
You will need:
1 lb ground turkey
2 16 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1/2 cup fresh whole basil leaves
3 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped finely
1 tsp red chili flakes
3 cloves of garlic, zested
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning OR 1/2 tbsp dried oregano/ 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
Pour the tomatoes into a medium pot. Add the dried herbs, salt and red chili flakes and heat over medium. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium and brown the turkey. As the turkey cooks (make sure to come back and "turn" it often) add the olive oil and fresh herbs. Finish by adding the cooked turkey WITH the fat and juices. Remember that if you're making a ragu with a different type of meat the fat content may be too high so you'll want to drain that off when cooking with beef or lamb; for turkey, the small amount of fat and juice adds a ton of flavor. Simmer gently for another 15-30 minutes and serve over pasta. This sauce should be significantly thicker than regular marinara, so it does best with a strong pasta like fettuccine or fusilli.