I like dessert. A lot. So in order to justify eating it way more than I should, I like my dinner healthy. Over the years, I have put together my own versatile bolognese sauce recipe. Some days, I have a pound of turkey sausage in the freezer, and sometimes I just have a pound of ground beef. With this recipe, there are enough herbs for flavor, so whatever works. I like to grate a few veggies and sneak them in for nutritional purposes. By the time the sauce is done cooking, you can’t even notice their presence. In a good way.
This makes a good-sized batch, so often I will freeze half of it and make a lasagna later. Like I said before, you can change this sauce up a lot depending on what you have on hand and your mood. If you are not in the mood for zucchini (or don’t have it) don’t add it. If you are feeling like you need a little more of a down home, hearty bolognese, add the cream.
- 1-2 pounds sausage or ground meat
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 carrots shredded
- 2 zucchini optional, shredded
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ounces can diced tomatoes 15
- 6 ounces can tomato paste
- 2 ounces cans tomato sauce 15 each
- 1 cup beef broth or dry red wine
- 3 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme if not using sausage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup cream or evaporated milk optional
- 1 pound thin spaghetti 16 ounces
In a large heavy duty pot, place meat, carrots, zucchini, and diced onion.
Cook, mixing frequently, until meat is browned and onion is softened.
Add garlic, zucchini, and carrot. Saute for another minute or two.
Add wine or broth, herbs, sugar, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, paste, and diced tomatoes.
Cover and simmer over medium heat for 1-2 hours.
Pour in cream and serve over desired noodles or polenta.
Extra sauce freezes well in a Ziploc and is great for making lasagna.
Alternately, after cooking meat and onions, dump all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, adding cream just before serving if desired.
Dress it Down:
Eliminate the zucchini.
Make it Fit:
Eliminate the cream for a dairy-free version.