Recipe: The Best Zucchini Bolognese (with 2 secret ingredients)

PALEO-FRIENDLY. GLUTEN FREE. DAIRY FREE. SOY FREE. EGG FREE. NUT FREE.

*CONTAINS NIGHTSHADES AND FODMAPS

 

When I ran the meal delivery service, Feed Me – Real Food Co., if ever there was a meal that I had to single out as the most popular, it would have to be this one. We received so much great feedback about it that it was back on the menu by popular demand months later!

Bolognese is such a common home style meal in Australia and growing up it was one of my favourites. This recipe includes 2 secret non-traditional ingredients (which is fitting because I am anything but “traditional”) that give it another dimension of flavour. Those two ingredients are…. Coconut cream (or coconut milk) and bacon. I promise you, these ingredients turn an ordinary bolognese into extraordinary awesomeness! Paired with zucchini noodles as a healthy alternative to pasta, you’ll be fighting over the leftovers!

It’s worth investing in a decent spiraliser to cut the zucchini into noodles, which will also come in handy for making salads with carrots, sweet potato, beetroot, etc. This meal is great for the kids too and the recipe below will leave you with extras for lunches or dinners during the week. Too easy.

 

INGREDIENTS (Makes 6 portions)

1kg pork and veal mince (or either of then on their own, or beef mince)

150g streaky bacon, no rind (approx. 5 or 6 medium sized rashers)

350g carrot, peeled and roughtly chopped

100g celery, no leaves, roughly chopped

150g onion, roughly chopped

20g garlic, peeled

900ml tomato puree/passata

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons of chilli powder (medium spiced, or to your liking)

salt and pepper, to taste

150ml coconut cream (or coconut milk)

1kg zucchini (this will probably make enough for leftovers)

 

METHOD

Prep time: Approx 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 45 minutes-1 hour

For the bolognese:

If your bacon has rind, remove this and cut the remaining bacon into small squares.

Cut the onion, celery, garlic and carrots into rough pieces and add in the leftover zucchini pieces from cutting the zucchini spaghetti with the spiraliser. Put them into a food processor. Process for a few seconds. Don’t process them too fine. Leave them still a little chunky. Alternatively if you don’t have a food processor, you can cut them into desired sizes (don’t worry too much about this as they are going to be cooked down and soften, so will reduce in size).

In a medium-large sized pot, over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the pork and veal mince, and brown all over. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the blended veggies and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the water released from the veggies has reduced.

Add the tomato puree then add a little water to the tomato jar, shake and pour the water into the pot (so we  limit waste of the puree still inside the jar), turn down to a low heat and let simmer for a further 20-30 minutes, (or until liquid has reduced significantly, stirring occasionally).

Add the coconut cream and chilli powder and mix well. Simmer for another 10 minutes. If there is too much liquid, cook for longer, until reduced to the consistency of your liking.

Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

For the zucchini noodles:

While the bolognese is doing it’s thing on the stove, cut up your zucchini into spaghetti by following the directions of your spiraliser! If you make extra these can be stored raw in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days, as long as there is not much moisture. You will also find that there will be leftover zucchini pieces from cutting the noodles with the spiraliser, so to reduce waste you can cut these up and chuck them in with your bolognese.

Heat water in a medium saucepan on the stove until it’s almost boiling. Throw in zucchini noodles and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 3 minutes, or  longer if you like softer noodles.

Strain, plate up with the bolognese, make a mess and enjoy!

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