Turkey Sugo

“I love Thanksgiving turkey… It’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.
Arnold Schwarzenegger~

“Cooking from the freezer”

Turkey Neck Sugo:  Recipe  Adapted from Canal House Cooking

I have wanted to try turkey neck sugo for ages and around most holidays there seems to be an abundance of packaged turkey parts so I stock up on a few packages for recipes other than roasted turkey.  Roasting turkey for the holidays is not what I do so we don’t get sick of it and I have the opportunity to make turkey dishes in the spring and summer months.  I’ve never loved turkey, but I have found several dishes that I like and this sauce is really filling the house with a wonderful comfort food aroma so I’m hoping for a wonderful sauce,  but I expect it to taste like turkey and I can only think that if I had roasted the turkey necks it would even better.  The recipe says 20 minutes for browning the turkey, but for 5 lbs. it was more like an hour to get them all browned.

Turkey necks are inexpensive; the completed sauce is served with either gnocchi or any favorite pasta and lots of extra grated cheese.


(makes 3-4 cups)

  1. 5 pounds turkey necks
  2. Pancetta
  3. Salt and Pepper
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 1 yellow onions, finely chopped
  6. 2 medium shallots
  7. 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  8. 1/4 whole nutmeg, grated
  9. Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 1 cup whole milk
  12. 1 cup white wine
  13. 1- 28 ounce can Italian San Marzano whole plum tomatoes

Season the turkey necks with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy oven proof pot with a lid over medium-high heat.  Sauté pancetta, until crispy, remove and put the necks in the pot and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes.  More like an hour for 5 lbs.
Remove the necks from the pot and set them aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Put the onions and carrots into the pot and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper flakes and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about a minute.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Increase heat under the pan to high and add the milk to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until the milk has reduced and been absorbed by the onions and carrots, 5-10 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has also reduced and been absorbed by the vegetables, 5-10 minutes.

Return the necks to the pot add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand and add 3 cups of water and 1 cup wine. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for about 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven. Remove and discard the necks from the sauce. If the sauce needs further reduction, cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon, until it is the consistency that you like. Serve with gnocchi and sprinkle with parm.

End result with gnocchi, served with extra cheese, red pepper flakes, black pepper…I’ll just mention that it was good Michael liked it.