Slow cooked tomato sauce it easily one of my favorite foods. Ever since I was I child, I can remember the long, slow process of making this Italian staple. It is one of those recipes that really requires time to create a better product. This particular recipe uses grass fed lamb which came from Swallowtail Farm, a small family owned. 100% grass fed, these lamb live happy lives here in central Maine. Bolognese is a traditional Italian meat sauce that contains mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion), ground meat, and tomato. Traditionally it is served over spaghetti and topped with freshly grated parm. To give this delicious sauce a festive twist, I thought I would serve it over some buttery butternut squash “noodles”. By using a peeler, you can peel the squash to replicate pasta noodles. A quick sauté and you have the perfect delivery system for the rich red sauce.
Bolognese w/ Butternut “Noodles”
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion, diced small
- 1 Carrot, diced small
- 2 Celery Stalks, diced small
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds grass fed ground Lamb
- 16 ounces Red Wine
- 32 oz Bionatare Tomato puree
- 1 cup Spring Water
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 Tbsp dried Wild Mushroom, powdered
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked Black Pepper
- 4 oz Raw Cream
For the Butternut “Noodles”:
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Raw Butter
- 1 tsp fresh chopped Rosemary
- a sprinkle of Sea Salt
1. Heat a large heavy bottom sauce pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the vegetables. Season generously with sea salt. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking.Here is where you want to develop the flavors of the vegetables, so allow their liquid to evaporate. before adding in the ground beef. Continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink. Allow the beef to brown, which will bring out more flavor as well.
2. Stir in the red wine then allow it to reduce by half. Add in the tomato puree, water, mushroom powder and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover the pot, then allow to slowly cook for 3-4 hours. As the sauce thickens, add some more water and allow to cook down.
3. Once the sauce as thickened up and the flavors well developed, season with a touch of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. If desired, stir in the cream.
The Essence of Italian Cooking
To prep the squash, peel the outer skin, then use the peeler or mandolin to form thin strips of noodles. To serve 2-3 people, peel the entire squash.
To cook the “noodles”, heat a large sauté pan. Add the coconut oil and butter. Toss in the squash and allow to cook over medium-high heat. Season with rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook until soft. If you wish, add some chopped kale or chard and cook along with the peeled veggies.
Portion out the “noodles” then top with the thickened Bolognese. Shaved Parm or fresh ricotta adds wonders.. Enjoy!
A 2nd version using carrot and fresh ricotta