Thursday, June 2, 2011

Healthier Bolognese

Who doesn't love a good Bolognese?  Traditionally a mostly meat pasta dish, this is a classic comfort food.  However, bolognese can have high calorie and fat numbers.  I wanted to see if I could lighten it up a bit while still maintaining that perfect balance of meat and tomato.

Here's my version, adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter.  This is a large recipe as I was cooking for a family in our church.  You could certainly half it...or freeze portion sizes for quick meals on busy days!  Just add 1 tbsp. of water before you heat it.

4 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound organic ground mild turkey Italian sausage 
3/4 pound organic grass fed Angus ground beef, 85% 
4 medium yellow onions, chopped into small dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 28 ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes (do NOT compromise!)
1/2 c. tomato paste  (tubed Italian import if you can find it)
28 ounces organic whole wheat rigatoni 
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
fresh Parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.  The key is to be patient.  Do not turn up the heat, you want caramelized, not fire roasted.  

While the onions are cooking, put a medium fry pan on the stove and add the ground beef.  Turn the heat to medium high and cook until the beef is almost done.  Remove the beef to a bowl and add the turkey to the same pan, cooking until almost done.  Remove from the heat. 

Add the garlic to the onions and saute for a few minutes until the garlic starts to get fragrant.  Add the cooked beef and turkey to the onions and mix well.  Add the tomatoes, paste, salt and pepper.  Mix well and bring to a low simmer.  Simmer the bolognese for at least an hour, stirring about every 10 minutes.

During the last 30 minutes of simmering, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.  Add salt generously and then add pasta, cooking about 13 minutes or until al dente.

Remove pasta from pot and then add it to the bolognese.  Serve in a warm bowl with 1 tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan and 2 tbsp. diced prosciutto.  The Parmesan and prosciutto are the kicker for this dish.  The perfect combination to top off this rich, healthy, and pretty darn close to perfect, bolognese!

Serve with a Caprese Salad...heirloom tomatoes, fresh pulled mozzarella, basil, a splash of balsamic vinegar,  olive oil and fresh ground pepper.

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup.  Calories 374, Fat 10.3, Carbs 52.7, Protein 19


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