Monday, January 9, 2012

Bolognese Sauce

Buon Appetito!

Make this wonderful “pasta” sauce to top off your spaghetti squash. Bolognese sauce traditionally is made by adding celery, carrots, and onion to the tomatoes and meat. Sometimes butter and cream are added toward the end of the cooking process to produce a silky, rich taste. I skipped that step for this paleo version, and instead added a little coconut milk to further enhance the flavor.

Bolognese sauce is also delicious over baked eggplant or zucchini. Make a double batch of sauce and freeze some for another meal.

3 ribs of celery
1 onion
3 carrots
3 strips bacon
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ lb. lean ground pork or pork sausage
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine (or beef broth)
30 oz. crushed tomatoes with juice
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon agave nectar
¼ cup refrigerated coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Sea salt and pepper

Spaghetti squash

Chop the celery, onion, and carrots in a food processor into ¼” pieces, or chop by hand.

Cut up the bacon into ½” pieces and fry until browned. Drain on paper towels. Pour out all but about 2 teaspoons of the fat from the pan.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add the vegetables and cook until soft, adding a little olive oil if needed. Add the garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together for 1 minute. Add the meat and cook until all of it is cooked through, breaking up lumps with the back of a spoon. Mix in the tomato paste. Add the wine (or beef broth) and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until about half of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and agave nectar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, uncovered. Check the sauce every half hour or so, giving it a quick stir.

Stir in the milk and parsley. Simmer for several minutes. Discard the bay leaves, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Ladle over a big bowl of cooked spaghetti sauce.

Jim, my neighbor, perfecting his cooking skills.

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