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Summer Bolognese

Summer Bolognese

Photo By Chelsie Craig, Food Styling By Kat Boytsova

Think of this weeknight-friendly pasta recipe as a lighter take on the classic Italian ragù that features cherry tomatoes, a red chile for some heat, and tons of fresh basil. It will also take you under an hour to make! So delicious and light! Two cups of basil may seem like a lot, but it really sets the whole dish over the top.


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red chile, such as Holland or Fresno, thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. bucatini, spaghetti, or rigatoni
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup), plus more for serving
  • 2 cups basil leaves, torn if large


Step 1

Heat oil in a large pot over medium until shimmering. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until there are only a few pink spots left, 5–7 minutes.

Step 2

Add wine and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, smashing down on chicken with a wooden spoon, until wine is evaporated and meat is finely ground, 4–6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally and still pressing down on meat, until tomato paste is slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.

Step 3

Add tomatoes and chile and cook, stirring to coat, until tomatoes begin to burst, about 4 minutes. Smash some but not all of the tomatoes with the back of wooden spoon to help create a sauce, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and about half of tomatoes are completely broken down, 4–6 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions.

Step 5

Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with sauce. Add butter, 2 oz. Parmesan, and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and liquid is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from from heat and fold in basil until fragrant and leaves are slightly wilted.

Step 6

Transfer pasta to a platter. Top with more Parmesan.

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