Last week, my good friend Alyssa decided to take the paleo plunge (Go Alyssa!). Every few days she’s been emailing me to share her ups and downs, and hearing from her about the challenges of those early days has been more eye-opening for me than I thought.
Until last week, I hadn’t quite realized how much my paleo routine had become second nature. It’s like how mothers conveniently forget the pain of childbirth once its over. Hearing about Alyssa’s challenges has reminded me of just how much trial, error and frustration I went through to get to where I am.
This recipe, for example, is one of my staples. It’s my weekly cookup meal at least once a month and I can practically make it with my eyes closed.
The fact that it’s so standard for me meant that posting it on my blog never crossed my mind. I figured every paleo eater out there knew how to make Bolognese.
Newsflash: they don’t! And they definitely don’t know how to make my (killer) version.
Whether you’re just making your paleo shift or you’re a seasoned paleo eater, this recipe should absolutely be in your repertoire. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
- The longer it sits, the better it gets.
- It’s simple to prepare.
- It doesn’t require any weirdo ingredients.
- It’s a naturally paleo, meaning non-paleos won’t know the difference!
- It’s forgiving and flexible. Got fresh herbs on hand? Throw ‘em in! Allergic to paprika? Leave it out!
- It’s a great way to use up veggies that don’t have a home. Finely chopped mushrooms, zucchini, onion, celery, and even winter squash would be welcome.
- It goes great on (or in) tons of stuff. Spaghetti squash is my favorite, but I’ve had it with carrot noodles, zucchini noodles, cauliflower mash, mashed winter squash and even sweet potato.
- It’s hearty and filling.
- It’s cheap!
So, this one’s for you, Alyssa. Thank you for inspiring me to look at this recipe with fresh eyes.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 Tbsp bacon fat or grass-fed butter
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and pulsed in a food processor
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
- 2 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
- 1 lb. crap-free Italian pork sausage, casings removed (or ground pork)
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a long paring knife, slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
- Pour ½ cup water onto a large baking sheet and place both squash halves face down on top.
- Roast for 35 to 45 minutes or until the skin turns slightly golden and the inner squash strands separate easily from the skin with a fork.
- Allow the squash to cool before scooping out and discarding the seeds.
- Then, scoop the flesh away from the skin and transfer it into a large serving bowl. Set aside until the sauce is finished.
- While the squash bakes, melt bacon fat or butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add leeks and saute until they become translucent.
- Add the carrots, bell pepper, tomato paste and white wine, and mix well. Then add the spices, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Mix and cook until carrots are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. You can put the lid on to speed up the process.
- Once the carrots are soft and the wine has evaporated, add the ground pork and beef, and cook until browned.
- Once the meat is done, add the crushed tomatoes and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is well combined.
- Taste for seasoning before removing from heat.
- Serve over roasted spaghetti squash.
Cook it in big batches or keep it in your back pocket for a quick weeknight dinner.
Be well my friends,