This meat-based sauce is a more recognizable dish among the Italian classics. There is no one recipe for Bolognese sauce but the staple ingredients tend to be the same. The following recipe was inspired by my recent trip to New York City where Italian food lines every avenue. I was especially impressed by the widespread acceptance for dietary accommodations within the city. Contrary to many other restaurants, meals were offered free of allergens without compromising the taste or experience.
Authentic Bolognese sauce does not like to be rushed and requires about 4 hours of simmering. It reminds me of a woman who’s getting ready for an evening out. Tell me I have to be ready with only half of my hair curled and I’m not going to come out as appealing. Just like the sauce, we women don’t need so much preparation but it’s worth the wait. Of course, there are short cuts available since most of us don’t have the luxury of prepping a meal most of the day.
The wonderful thing about Italian food is its potential to work with fresh, whole ingredients. Most everyone loves it and is approachable for any level of cooking expertise. The following recipe differs from classic Bolognese sauce as it includes a hefty dose of cauliflorous vegetables and omits allergens such as dairy and gluten. The sauce attains it's orange appearance from dairy but in my opinion, dairy makes the dish far too heavy. If you're not concerned with making your dish more nutrient dense with cauliflorous vegetables simply omit them for a more classic sauce. Even with a few alterations, the sauce lacks nothing when it comes to taste and richness, making it an excellent way to disguise vegetable for picky eaters.
This is a large serving size: about 8
For the sauce:
- Olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 4 small carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 4 garlic cloves diced
- 5 slices pancetta (organic bacon) diced
- ½-1 teaspoon oregano
- ½-1 teaspoon basil
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Extra Veggies: sliced broccoli, carrots, cabbage: slaw style. Purchase a pre-chopped bag from the produce section. Finely dice in a food processor.
- 2lb lean ground meat I used a blend of grass-fed beef and bison
- 1 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay)
- 2 cups almond milk (don’t use cream) I omitted the milk altogether & it tasted fine.
- 1 16-oz can organic tomato sauce (or you may use whole tomatoes + juice but I do not prefer them)
- 1 cup organic beef or chicken stock
- Place a large saucepan to medium heat greased with olive oil. Once hot, sauté carrots, celery, onion, garlic, extra veggies if desired, and a pinch of salt. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes. Add pancetta/bacon and cook for another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Turn the sauce pan to high heat (Or use a separate saucepan greased with olive oil) and brown the meat. Add sections of the meat a little at a time and break up with a wooden spatula. This allows the liquid to evaporate, the meat to caramelize, and keeps it from boiling. We want bits of golden meat sticking to the pan but we do NOT want it to burn. If not already, combine the meat and vegetables into one large saucepan.
- Now, lower the heat to about medium. Add in the white wine. Take your wooden spoon and scrape off the meat from the bottom of the pan. Keep reducing the heat if necessary so not to let it burn. The white wine should evaporate.
- Add the milk, tomato sauce, stock, salt, and pepper.
- Ensuring that nothing is stuck to the bottom, bring to boil, reduce to the lowest setting, and allow simmering for 4 hours.
- Before serving, adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Serve over pasta with fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle on parmesan for our dairy eating friends.