Courgetti Bolognese [Dairy free, Gluten free, Grains free, Sugar free]
Adapting regular food for a gluten free and sugar free lifestyle is a passion that I enjoy and take immense pride in. Many of the recipes featured in my blog space attests to this. This recipe is no exception, and, delivers a truly authentic Sicilian bolognese sauce, cooked with love, and enjoyed on a chilly autumn Saturday evening. Comfort food deluxe in a gluten free and sugar free meal!
The original recipe calls for dairy full cream milk and white wine. I adapted with neutral tasting almond milk and bone broth, which delivers a luxurious tasting bolognese sauce. The cooking process is what adds to the the taste definition in this recipe, and while many throw together ingredients to make this pasta sauce, with much haste, slow cooking adds to the delicious taste in this age old recipe. I started off cooking the sauce on the stove top and concluded by slow cooking for 5 hours – it may be cooked on the stove top too, on low heat, or in the oven, in an earthen ware, ovenproof dish, which will deliver a magnificently rustic tasting bolognese sauce.
I totally enjoyed the cooking process of allowing the almond milk and the bone broth to reduce, which made for both these liquids to be thoroughly absorbed in the ingredients. This, I believe, is the x-factor in making this delicious tasting bolognese sauce!
Using baby marrow (courgette / zuchinni) “noodles”, spiralised (they may be straight cut too), in a quick preparation method, provided the low carb “spagetti” pasta option. Higher carb butternut, pumpkin or sweet potato “noodles” may also be used to replace the baby marrow.
Guaranteed, you will be totally satisfied with this make in a gluten-free version of bolognese sauce, and it will be one that will become a favourite. I used the sauce in a home made gluten-free pizza, topped with a variety of fresh veggies – lip smacking goodness in a wholesome pizza meal too!
- If using a slow cooker, switch it on low heat as you begin the cooking process.
- In a non-stick large pan or pot, heat the oil on medium stove top heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, and the carrots and celery have softened. This takes about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and the tomato paste, and cook for about a minute.
- Now add in the minced meat, briskly breaking up the lumps, and allowing it to brown .
- Add in 1 teaspoon of the salt, the thyme, origanum, black pepper, and nutmeg.
- Stir in the almond milk, turn up the stove heat, and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer.
- Reduce the heat back to medium, and continue simmering for about 10 minutes, until the milk has reduced completely and a little liquid remains.
- Add in the bone broth / stock, and allow the mixture to simmer for a further 10 minutes, all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Now transfer the mince meat mixture to the heating slow cooker. (If using the oven, then transfer the mixture to a lidded oven proof dish (preferably earthen ware).
- Empty the cans of tomatoes and strain through a strainer, reserving the juices. I used a hand held blender to break up the tomatoes in smaller pieces before adding them to mixture in the slow cooker – smaller pieces of tomato cook faster and thicken the sauce as desired.
- Add in the bay leaf and stir all the ingredients together well, so that they combine. The mixture should have a thick, saucy consistency. If it looks dry, mix in a little of the reserved tomato juices until it looks sauce-like.
- Add on the lid of the slow cooker and cook for 5-6 hours .
- Check the sauce about 30 minutes before the cooking tine is up. If the sauce is thin and runny, continue cooking with the lid removed, to allow any excess liquid to evaporate and thicken the sauce. If it looks a little dry, add in about a quarter to half a cup of of the reserved tomato juices. At the end of the cooking, the sauce consistency should be thick and creamy.
Serve the sauce over veggie noodles of your choice, (added raw to rapidly boiling salted water for 3 minutes, removed and plunged into ice water, then strained off well, and tossed with a little olive oil, black pepper and Himalayan or sea salt) riced cauliflower, or layer it into a gluten-free pizza base.
This bolognese sauce will keep refrigerated for 5 days and it may be frozen for up to 3 months.