I have always made my own spaghetti sauce because, lets face it, spaghetti sauce is pretty easy to make and difficult to screw up. You throw some cans of organic diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, olive oil, ground beef and seasoning and it tastes like a culinary treat.
A couple of years ago my sister told me about her friend who makes a mean Bolognese sauce filled with pureed vegetables. Pureed vegetables? My sister and I both have young kids and are always looking for ways to incorporate vegetables in our meals, so our ears perked to this concept. This Bolognese sauce is a tricky but tasty way to incorporate many fresh vegetables into a meal.
How does Bolognese differ from spaghetti sauce? Well first of all, for me it took about two years to figure out how to spell Bolognese. Secondly, Bolognese is known for its variety of meats and mirepoix (sautéed vegetables added to a sauce), which is cooked down to a rich thick sauce. I do not sauté my vegetables. I simply use whatever fresh vegetables I happen to have in my refrigerator.
I use my Cuisinart food processor for this recipe, but if you don’t have one, a blender will do. I like to take any vegetable that I have in my refrigerator and throw it into my food processor and blend it until it is pureed. Some of my favorite vegetables to use are: onions, bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini.
I have adapted this Bolognese recipe over the years to include all the ingredients I love. There is a lot of flexibility to include your favorite meats and vegetables, so get creative. It is delicious and, bonus, your kids will have no idea it is filled with vegetables!
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 pound of Italian sausage
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 28-ounce cans of organic crushed tomatoes
- 2 14 1/2 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 bell pepper, any color
- 1 zucchini
- throw in any other vegetable you like
- 1 bunch of fresh basil chopped
- 1 Tbs. dried basil
- 1 Teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a braiser or dutch oven cook the ground beef for 8 minutes on medium until no longer pink. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Make the sausage into balls and saute for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef back into the pot. Add the crushed and diced tomatoes and red wine.
- Use a food processor to blend together your vegetables until they are pureed. Add vegetables and herbs and seasoning to the pot and cook for 1 to 2 hours.
- Add to your favorite noodle and you have a healthy bolognese.
Megan Woolsey lives in Northern California with her family of six, including triplets and a vivacious big sister. Megan authors the blog, The Hip Mothership where she talks about parenting children in a time of iDevices and helicopter parenting. Megan has been published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, XOJane, Mamalode, BLUNTmoms, BonBon Break, Role Reboot, and Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop. She has an essay published in the anthology, It’s Really 10 Month Special Delivery. She and her partner Alison Lee are working on an anthology called Multiples Illuminated, all about the wonderful world of raising multiples. When she isn’t sweating it out in hot yoga or writing her next article, Megan is seeking out the perfect glass of red wine that doesn’t render a hangover. When Megan needs a break from the kids, you can find her perusing her social media pages, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.