Recipe: Zucchini Bolognese

Zoodles! 

Everyone says how fun and yummy they are, but I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. Growing up in a large Italian family… I believed that spaghetti was a food group and the whole reason sauce existed. (Or “gravy,” as we called it.)

But zucchini noodles really are delicious. They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, with none of the inflammation and health risks associated with eating gluten.    

While they absolutely hold their own in this dish, the trick is to not overcook them, which will make them soggy. Trust me! Just like with pasta, you’re going for al dente, cooked but with a little firmness.

When heating the olive oil and garlic, I also like to throw in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to give some heat to the dish before adding the zucchini. Really, you can toss in any of your favorite Italian herbs to enhance the aroma and flavor of the zoodles. 

Now, for the sauce! 

Bolognese is so simple and incredibly delicious. High in protein, vitamins, minerals and bioavailable iron, beef is an amazing source of nutrients. But it’s important to choose organic, grassfed beef that has never been fed any soy, corn, hormones, or antibiotics.

You can certainly dish up this rich and savory meal once it’s been simmering for about an hour. But I prefer to make sauce when I have a few hours to cook it slow and low, as the depth and complexity of flavors increase. 

Go ahead and make a double batch of sauce while you’re at it! It freezes well and can easily be subbed in to lasagna recipes like this one.

Zucchini Bolognese

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September 20, 2019

Rich and savory, this classic Italian dish just got healthier! Zoodles make this a low-carb pasta option with plenty of fiber, while grassfed beef adds clean, lean protein.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients

SAUCE

2 Tbsp organic olive oil

2 organic carrots, peeled and shredded

2 stalks of organic celery, diced

1 small organic red onion, diced

3 cloves organic garlic, minced

1 lb organic grassfed ground beef

1 (28 oz.) can organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice

1/4 cup organic tomato paste

1/2 cup organic beef bone broth

1/2 cup dry red wine OR an additional 1/2 cup bone broth plus 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano

Dash of nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

ZOODLES

10 oz. package of zucchini noodles

2 Tbsp organic olive oil

1 clove organic garlic, minced

1/4 tsp kosher sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then coat with olive oil and add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.

2Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3Raise the heat to high and add the ground beef.

4Saute, stirring frequently, breaking up any large pieces and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes.

5Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, bone broth, red wine, bay leaf, oregano, and dash of nutmeg.

6Cook over medium-low heat for a minimum of 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.

7In the final 10 minutes of the sauce cook time, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.

8Add the olive oil and the minced garlic.

9Stir and cook garlic for 30 seconds before tossing in the zucchini noodles. (This will infuse the oil and enhance the flavor.)

10Cook zoodles until crisp-tender, about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally; season with 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper.

11Remove bay leaf from Bolognese sauce, and serve helpings of zoodles and sauce in your favorite pasta bowls, topped with fresh parsley.

Want more delicious, nutritious recipes? Check out jjvirgin.com/recipes.

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