Better Than Bolognese
A typical bolognese sauce is made with some sort of meat, however, my version uses only vegetables which yields an even better result. This sauce, inspired by a recipe from Giada, is so hearty and flavorful no one will even miss the meat. You could use it as a topping for spaghetti squash, polenta, miracle noodles, or anything you wish.
Vegetable Bolognese Sauce
1 small carrot, cut into large chunks
1/2 small onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 oz (5-6) brussels sprouts, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. anchovy paste
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 portabella mushroom, cleaned, gills removed and cut into small pieces
dash of double concentrated tomato paste (from a squeeze tube)
2 tbsp. red wine
2 cups crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
Optional Garnish-grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place carrot, onion, brussels sprouts, and garlic in a small food processor. Pulse until vegetables are chopped but still have some texture and chunkiness.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Stir in anchovy paste.
3. Add chopped vegetables and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and tomato paste to pan. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften, 3-4 minutes (add some nonstick spray if vegetables begin to stick).
5. Stir in wine and crushed tomatoes. Raise heat to medium.
6. Once sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low. Let sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until ready to use (at least 10 minutes).
7. Prior to serving, remove thyme stems. Garnish with cheese if desired.