A Heathlier Bolognese

I have a love affair with pasta. There are many, many sauces, some light, some rich and some sit somewhere in the middle. One of my favorite is Bolognese or as we called it when our girls were young;  ground meat gravy. Now, I also love good grass fed beef; ground or an awesome filet. However because of all the health concerns around red meat I try to limit my intake. Enter the humble mushroom; which can replace half of the ground beef  you use in most recipes. I have used them in place of the meat in chile, half the meat in meatloaf and in this recipe, with delicious results. Also the mushroom is very nutritious with a great deal of antioxidants. Using them in recipes is a win, win! So in my Bolognese sauce I swap out half of the meat for mushrooms. I have even made this sauce with all mushrooms that was absolutely delicious. I hope you will give this a try, you will be surprised how really good this is!

1/2 pound good ground beef

8 ounces cremini mushrooms a personal fav

1 stalk celery 

1 medium carrot

1 medium onion

1 large garlic clove

1/2 cup half and half ( you can omit  and substitute chicken stock to make this dairy free)

1 cup red or white wine

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1  28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes squashed 

1 teaspoon sslt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

A pinch of crushed red pepper 

 3 tablespoons EVOO

Place mushrooms in a food processor and pluse until they resemble ground meat. Remove and add to a hot sauté  pan with 2 tablespoon EVOO. Sauté about 5 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking pulse in the food processor the celery, carrot, onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add to the mushrooms  with another tablespoon of EVOO and cook about 5 more minutes. Remove veggie mix and add ground meat to the hot pan. Cook until the meat is slightly browned, add nutmeg and wine to deglaze pan. Add half and half or chicken stock and bring to s simmer. Add cooked veggies, tomatoes, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat; let sit so flavors can marry and get happy. 

You are now ready to dress your favorite pasta with this delicious sauce and a good grated cheese! Bono Apetito 

  

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