Vegetable Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

SS-Spaghetti

So we’ve been feeling a bit under the weather here the last few days. When I’m not feeling great I tend to crave comfort food really bad! (Weird, I know, I get hungrier when I’m sick rather then losing my appetite…) This vegetable bolognese is perfect, full of veggies making it super vitamin packed, lots of garlic and onion to help kick this cold in the booty and feels like comfort food but is super healthy, especially since I served it on spaghetti squash rather then pasta.  I love spaghetti squash, while it isn’t quite the same as real pasta I think it’s a great substitute and way healthier! Plus it’s great for people who are eating a gluten free diet.

Vegetable Bolognese

4 tbsp Oil (I always use coconut oil for cooking)
6 medium Tomatoes
2 small Onions (or 1 large one), finely chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, finally chopped
2 small Carrots (or 1 large one), finally chopped
1 Celery Heart with 2-3 of the small ribs, finely chopped (the heart is the center, very leafy part of the bunch of celery)
3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1-2 cups Red Wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 Milk

So you could totally skip this first step and use canned tomatoes instead, maybe 2-3 cans of crushed tomatoes… I like to use fresh when I can or ones I’ve canned myself if I still have some cause canned tomatoes have been getting such bad press lately and I try to eat as healthy as I can. I do however sometimes go with canned cause they’re easier and sometimes even cheaper… I have a lot of fresh ones on hand at the moment so I went with fresh this time. So for the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in as many whole tomatoes that will fit, I did 2 batches of 3 in my pot. Boil for 45 secs to a minute, try not to go over a minute and then plunge the tomatoes into a bowl of ice water. This step with help peel the tomatoes, the skins should basically fall right off with little effort (I usually assign the peeling task to my 2 and 4 year old it’s that easy). Then cut off the stems, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out eh excess water and seeds. Next dice up the tomatoes, add them to an empty pot (not back into the water pot, I usually use the same one and dump the water out), bring to boil over med-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes. While they cook crush and mash them with a wooden spoon. Now you have beautiful, delicious homemade crushed tomatoes!

To make the sauce, start buy heating some oil over medium heat in a large pan, I use a saute pan. Add onions and bell peppers, cook until they start to soften 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, season with salt, cook until all veggies are nice and tender, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the Italian seasoning (FYI-fresh herbs would be way better if you have them). Add wine, I just free pour from the bottle till it looks “good” it’s about 1-2 cups. Bring sauce to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Technically you could call it down after 20-30 minutes, if your in a hurry, but I think it taste much much better when left to simmer for a couple hours, I usually aim for 2 hours, but again if you in a hurry it’s good after 20-30 minutes. About 10 minutes before your ready to serve it, add the milk and stir, cook about 10 more minutes over med-low heat.

I love serving this with spaghetti squash, below is how I make my spaghetti squash when using for pasta.

 

Spaghetti Squash

1 Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff. Place in baking dish cutside down with about 1-2 inches of water. Bake for 1 hour, until tender. Remove from oven and carefully, using a fork pull the spaghetti like strands from the skin of the squash. I usually hold the squash in a towel cause it’s hot!

I serve it with sauce and topped with some Parmesan cheese.