Bolognese, My Way



1 lb ground beef
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 T grape seed oil
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced, reserve one half
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 celery stalks, rough cut
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 T parsely
2 T oregano
1 T salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 c red wine
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
20 basil leaves, chopped


In a cast iron sauce pan, on medium heat, brown the ground beef and sausage.

While the meat is browning, in a large dutch oven, on medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, half the zucchini, salt and pepper, and sweat for five minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped garlic. Stir. Lean your head over the pot. Take a deep breath. All the way into the belly. Slow exhale. This is heaven friends. Now, get it back, because garlic can burn, quickly. And frankly it tastes like burnt garlic, which bites. Literally.

Add the tomato paste, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, parsley, and oregano and combine.

Add the red wine. Cook down for several minutes. I drop the heat to medium at this point.

Add the crushed tomatoes. Just as it starts to bubble, drop the temperature to low.

Add the browned beef and sausage, and let simmer. Could be endlessly, but at least twenty minutes.

Five minutes before serving, add the other half of zucchini and the basil leaves. Serve over your favorite pasta, garnish with parmesan cheese, and fresh basil.


You can add any veg you like – button mushroom, exotic mushrooms, peppers, peas, egg plant – the sky is the limit. 

This can be meatless. You know, just don’t add the meat. 

This is not just for pasta. You can eat this alone. Yes, alone. Some greens on the side, and it’s a meal. This is great on rice, corn bread, naan bread, garlic bread, spaghetti squash if you are the type that likes that – I am not that type, but I don’t judge. You get the picture. 

This recipe can be made on Monday and eaten on Saturday, so it’s a great make ahead, and it freezes beautifully. 

Keywords: bolognese, pasta, sauce