I'm so excited to share this recipe with you! It was inspired by my friend, Dawn (who was inspired by this recipe). It combines two of my favorite things: traditional Italian bolognese sauce and the slow cooker. God I love it when I find great recipes for the slow cooker!
I "healthied" it up a bit, by jacking up the veggies in the sauce, cutting back on some of the meat (grass-fed beef), eliminating the cream and serving it over a great pasta alternative - spaghetti squash. It was so phenomenal that I had to share the recipe!
One great thing about doing a sugar detox is that it's forced me to read labels carefully (you can't believe how many companies put sugar in their diced tomatoes!?!) and to find alternatives to sugar/carb heavy things (like pasta). I have to admit that, while I've had spaghetti squash before, I haven't taken the time to experiment with it in different recipes, the way I have in the last couple of weeks. The more I've "played around" with it, the more I've grown to like it. And this was definitely my favorite way of preparing it.
Enjoy and share some of your ideas for pasta alternatives in the Comments below!
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce:
2 slices nitrate-free bacon (Applegate is a brand I like), chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
4 carrots, chopped
1 lb. grass fed ground beef (can also be made with ground turkey)
1/4 cup white wine
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of fresh herbs (I used a combination of basil and parsley), chopped
In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon. When done, remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set that aside and add the olive oil to the pan, along with th onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook until veggies soften (about 5 minutes). Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. When meat is nicely browned, add the wine. Simmer for about 5 minutes more.
Add the ground beef mixture, along with the bacon, tomatoes and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Set it to LOW and let it cook for 6 hours.
After 6 hours, add the fresh herbs and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Spaghetti Squash "Noodles":
2 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Pierce spaghetti squash and place them in the microwave (one at a time) for 5-7 minutes, until it is soft enough to cut in half (spaghetti squash can be a b*$ch to cut, if you don't do this!). Scoop out the seeds in the cavities. Place on a baking sheet (cut side up) and sprinkle salt and pepper over the halves. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, until each half can be easily pierced with a knife. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Once cool, use a fork to scrapeout the flesh of the squash, creating the squash "noodles."
Serve the spaghetti squash with a scoop or two of bolognese sauce on top.
Serves 4 (with some sauce left over).
**Note: extra sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
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