Monday, May 19, 2008

Heart Healthy Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce

Red pasta sauce is one of our favorites. This version is delicious and good for you. The beef has been substituted with turkey or chicken. Both work nicely and it just depends on what is available. The sauce is made with tomatoes and it also has other veggies too. By making a large quantity of the sauce, you can easily whip up a nice dinner any day of the week. We use the sauce to make lasagna. We also use it to top pastas, gnocchi and polenta. Sometimes when the kids are ravenous and can't wait, I make a quick French bread pizza with a slather of sauce, cheese and their favorite topping. Voila-a great tasting pizza in less than 30 minutes.


  • 1 lb of ground turkey or chicken breast
  • 2-3 large portabello mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 medium size carrots
  • 3 large stalks of celery
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup of minced Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp of fresh minced oregano
  • 2 tbsp of fresh minced basil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds (if love the taste-add a little more)
  • 1-2 bay leaves, depending on the size
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (28 oz)
  • 2 cans of whole tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese or both
  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti, prepared as directed on the box or whatever pasta type you enjoy


  1. Wipe the portabellos clean and remove the stems
  2. Sprinkle the garlic and onion powder on all sides of the portabellos
  3. Sprinkle the dried oregano on the portabellos
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the portabellos
  5. Coat the bottom of a large pan and heat on medium/high.
  6. When the pan is hot, place the portabellos with the gill side down and sear the portabellos. It should take about 5 minutes.
  7. Flip the portabellos and sear the cap side. Remove from the pan and let them cool a bit.
  8. Using a food processor, chop the portabellos finely.
  9. Place the ground chicken/turkey in a medium size bowl and add the chopped portabellos. Mix them thoroughly. Set aside.
  10. Clean and coarsely chop the carrots, celery and onion.
  11. Using a food processor, finely chop the mixture.
  12. Using the same pan, coat the bottom with olive oil. Heat on medium/high.
  13. When the pan is hot, add the meat/mushroom mixture and saute until cooked. Use a spatula to break up the ground chicken/turkey is it starts to clump together. Salt the mixture with about 1 teaspoon of salt.
  14. Once the meat is nicely browned, add the chopped vegetable mixture. Cook until fragrant which should be about 3-5 minutes. Add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  15. Add the herbs and garlic. Mix them in and cook until fragrant.
  16. Turn the heat down and add the wine. Mix it in. It will evaporate rather quickly. You will notice that the mixture will turn a nice rich brown color.
  17. Once most of the wine liquid has evaporated, begin adding each can of tomatoes. Mix each can as you add them in.
  18. Use a potato masher to break up the whole tomatoes a bit.
  19. Simmer the sauce for about 3 hours.
  20. Add cheese half way into the simmering time. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  21. Serve over your choice of pasta.

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