Christmas bolognese

christmas bolognese
This recipe for Christmas bolognese comes from an idea I had to make use of colouring pasta. I combine two festive colours – green and red – with some festive ingredients; turkey, broccoli, carrots and peas and serve them together in a surprisingly simple dish. To give the dish a bit of a kick and to keep it full of flavour I added lots of garlic and chilli flakes for some heat and interest.
Served hot, and topped with a grated Parmesan snow – the dish looks and tastes great on any table. Of course if you wish you can skip dying the pasta and enjoy it as a simple dinner all year round – I just think this way is more fun!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 4


  • 400 g turkey mince
  • 250 g linguine
  • 200 g broccoli florets
  • 100 g peas and/or carrots
  • 1 red onion (finely diced)
  • 1 red pepper (finely sliced)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp  red food colouring
  • 2 tbsp green food colouring
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • parmesan (for serving)
  • 2 freezer bags (for the colouring process)


  • To a large saucepan of salted water, add the linguine pasta and bring to the boil – it should take around 10-12 minutes to cook "al dente".
  • Add the olive oil, chopped red onion, garlic and chilli flakes to a non stick frying pan and bring to a medium heat.
  • Add the turkey mince to the frying pan and brown together with the spices and onion.
  • Next, add the red pepper, some ground black pepper, brocolli florets, and the peas and/or carrots, and continue to cook. You won't need to add salt, as the parmesan will be quite salty.
  • When the pasta is cooked but still firm, drain it, and rinse it under cold water to stop it cooking further. Divide into two portions and add each half to a separate freezer bag. To each bag add one tbsp. of food colouring and a tbsp. of vinegar – this should help set and intensify the colour.
  • Seal each bag, and shake the colouring vigorously so the mixture colours all of the pasta inside, and then let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Using a colander, drain the coloured pasta, then give it a gentle shake and rinse to remove the excess food colouring.
  • So that the linguine is not cold, I added it back to the frying pan with the turkey and vegetables and heated it through.
  • Serve hot, and dusted with parmesan.
Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein. One serving of turkey provides more than half your body’s protein requirement, with half the fat of beef and 30% fewer calories.