Tag Archives: spaghetti squash

Easy Bolognese

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find anything as comforting as a bowl of pasta with a rich, hearty meat sauce (sorry vegetarians, I practice Meatless Monday and yoga, but I am Italian thru and thru). When I was growing up my mom often made pasta with Bolognese sauce when it was chilly outside. Curling up with that bowl of pasta and watching a good movie was simply the best…and it still is! Bolognese is something I now make on the regular during Fall and Winter. It’s inexpensive, simple, rustic, hearty, and it can actually be decently nutritious if you use grass-fed organic meat and control your portions.

Now, there are lots of Bolognese sauce recipes in the world and some of them can be slightly complicated and require hours of cooking, but my recipe for Bolognese is fantastically easy and rather quick! Serve with your favorite shape of pasta, on spaghetti squash, or even by itself in a bowl with some crusty bread. My Easy Bolognese will quickly make you feel like you’re dining in Tuscany! Buon Appetito!

Easy Bolognese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • ½ lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed organic)
  • ½ lb ground pork (preferably grass-fed organic)
  • ½ cup red wine (preferably a chianti or darker)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ¼ Pecorino Romano Cheese

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the carrots, celery, and 1 tablespoon of the crushed garlic, season with an additional pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for 3-4 minutes longer. Add the beef and pork. Using the back of a wooden spoon, break the meat up into small chunks, cook until the meat is browned and slightly caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. Pour in the red wine and cook until the meat absorbs the wine completely. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic, half the parsley, the basil, the bay leaf, the red pepper flakes, a pinch more salt and pepper, and half of the pecorino cheese. Stir together. Allow to come to a simmer. Reduce the heat the medium-low and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve with the remaining pecorino and parsley. Enjoy!

Pro-tip: If you make pasta or spaghetti squash, toss the pasta or shredded squash with additional pecorino cheese and olive oil, then place into pasta bowls, and serve the Bolognese sauce over the top. Allow the guests to mix the sauce into the noodles or squash as they like on their own.

A Few Food Network Articles For You!

If you follow me on social media, then you will know that I am a HUGE fan of the Food Network – the television channel, the magazine, the online content, all of it! Besides my mother, the Food Network has taught me the most about cooking and entertaining. I follow them religiously on social media and email and often share out the articles and recipes that I find of particular interest and benefit.

Recently, the Healthy Eating division of Food Network’s website has shared a few great articles regarding health in relation to food. I’ve shared them on social, but thought I’d also list them here for anyone scrolling through Johnny La Pasta hoping to find such tid bits of information. Click on the highlighted text to click through to the articles.

  1. 10 Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think – a quick read on different foods and dishes that actually have more healthy qualities than you might have thought before. AKA an excuse to eat more peanut butter!
  2. How Much Added Sugar Are You Really Eating – a short and sweet, no pun intended, piece that puts into perspective just how much added sugar is really in some of those grocery store choices. This is a quick readers digest, for more, try watching Fed Up and enjoy the horrors of the American food system 🙂
  3. How to Roast Spaghetti Squash – a step by step how-to for making spaghetti squash as a replacement for traditional spaghetti. I love this. I am planning to use Spaghetti Squash more this season.

I love that Food Network makes information so readily available for us foodies and health nuts. I’ll keep you guys posted with more great article finds.

If you read the articles, what do you think? Did you learn anything?