Bunker Bolognese.

Hi friends. How are you doing during this utterly surreal time? Isn’t it strange and mildly comforting to know that we’re all in the same boat?

I’ve been watching Instagram videos of Jamie Oliver, all the way across the pond in Merry Old England, and he is also stuck at home, no matter how amazing and rich and influential he is.

He’s trying to be helpful by teaching people how to make bread and pasta from scratch, and cook with that you’ve got in your fridge. It feels so amazing to know that THE Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, is also out of chicken broth and has resorted to bouillon cubes!

Okay, I’ve posted a bolognese recipe before, but this is the COVID version of bolognese ~ part of my new series called THE BUNKER. ha ha ha ha

Here are the basic Bunker Bolognese rules:

  • You definitely need tomatoes. Do you have canned tomatoes? If not, you might want to wait on this recipe…
  • You need some kind of ground meat, or mushrooms. Mushrooms serve beautifully as a sub for ground meat, and if you’re trying to just cut back on meat a little, use both. All you need to do is food process those mushrooms into tiny pieces, so they resemble ground meat. Then brown them in your fat, just like you would ground turkey.
  • Anything else you add is BONUS. Butternut squash, onions, garlic, spices, spicy Italian sausage, whatever you have in your fridge or pantry!!
  • The answer to a great bolognese is cinnamon!
  • Another great ingredient, if you have it, is balsamic vinegar, or red wine. I prefer the balsamic vinegar.

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Okay, now that your mouth is watering from that picture, here’s the recipe!

  1. Brown your ground meat, mushrooms, sausage, or ALL of the above! Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or coconut aminos, to really bump up the flavor, and make it look super browned, which is important if you’re using pale ground turkey or chicken. If you’re using low-fat products, add oil or butter to the pan.
  2. Remove the meat mixture and set aside for later, but leave the fat in the pan ~ that’s flavor!
  3. Here’s where you can go crazy with veggies. Chopped onion, garlic, butternut squash cubes, sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, spinach, you name it! What’s dying to be eaten in your fridge? Use it! We ALL need more veggies. These pieces can be roughly chopped because you’re going to blitz all of this in the food processor later.
  4. Get those veggies caramelizing and flavorful. Add salt and pepper, dried oregano or Italian seasoning, CINNAMON, and a couple glugs of BALSAMIC VINEGAR. Oh yeah…
  5. Now here’s the best trick: at this point, add your veggie mixture to a food processor, along with your canned tomatoes, if they’re whole and need processing. Blitz it all in the food processor until smooth.
  6. Pour back into the pan and add more tomato sauce, if you have it, or tomato paste. Whatever you have that needs to be used. Maybe a cup of leftover bone broth? Whatever ya got!
  7. Add in the meat, stir, and let simmer on the stove for as long as you can stand it, cuz it’s gonna smell so, so GOOD.
  8. Now this amazing sauce can go on top of all kinds of things: zucchini “zoodles”, spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, actual rice, and of course, pasta or gnocchi…

Top with parmesan cheese, if you got it!

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