I know it is a little early in the season for this yummy comfort food but ever since I saw the recipe for paleo spaghetti and sauce on Sarah's blog, I have been craving it. I kept telling myself that I would wait until the temperature drops a bit in September to make it but then, when it was a little bit cooler this weekend, I just had to make it. Plus, I can freeze about half of it and be prepared for when travel season starts for work. I will have it when I am just too tired to cook or for the Hubs to have when I am away.
I can't actually call this a true Bolognese because it doesn't have milk in it. The first reason I omitted it was because I am trying to keep with Paleo and cutting down on dairy and, really, this recipe doesn't need it. I honestly thought about adding coconut milk to cut down on the acidity but I thought, eh, we can do without. And the second reason I held on the milk was because, well, we didn't have any.
You could do without wine in this as well but really you are going to lose the deep flavor. It would still be a yummy meat sauce - I would just up the garlic and add some Italian seasoning. It will have a good flavor but different than this. (And I have made it the other way, as well.)
I also had this over spaghetti squash instead of pasta to keep with Paleo but you can have it either way. I am actually half Italian so giving up pasta is hard but this sauce is so yummy I hardly notice. If you do use pasta, I highly recommend you flavor it the way my family does. (Yes, they flavor the pasta before the sauce.) First, make sure you salt and add olive oil to the boiling water. You don't need much. Once you strain the pasta, add a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and oregano. When I was little, I would eat it just like this as a kid. If you are using spaghetti squash, cut it in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet upside down. Put in a pre-heated 400° F oven for 40 minutes. Take it out to cool for a bit and then use a fork to pull apart the squash - it will look like spaghetti!
ALMOST BOLOGNESE SAUCE
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 c. finely chopped pancetta
2/3 c. minced carrots
1/2 c. minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 c. dry red wine
1 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes, chopped (and liquid)
In a large pan, melt butter into olive oil. Add pancetta and cook for about 8 minutes or until fat is rendered. Add carrots, onion, and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until beef is no longer pink. Add wine and simmer until evaporated.
Add tomatoes with their juices and simmer slowly, for about 2 hours. You want to reduce as slowly as possible. Add water, a bit at a time, if the sauce becomes dry. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.
Now lick the plate clean!