vegetti bolognese

This recipe was born out of sheer panic when I'd arrived home from work and forgot that I didn't have leftovers. For the most part I'm organized enough to have leftovers ready for days when I'm in the office, since I travel quite a distance to and from work. By the time I arrive, there's really not too much time for cooking and I'd rather spend the little time I have taking photos and posting them on my Instagram story...I mean, playing with my kids. But back to this recipe. I scrounged around for ingredients and remembered a recipe my grandmother made in Romania. I added a few things to her basic one and also took a serious short cut by letting my food processor do the cutting for me. 

Luckily I have most of these ingredients in the house at all times, so it was an easy one to throw together. I feel the need to reiterate this, but grass fed beef tastes a thousand times better than conventional so I highly recommend making the switch, if you haven't already. 

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Serves 4


  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks roughly chopped 
  • 1 onion cut into quarters 
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 1 lb beef
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped italian parsley 
  • 3 slices bacon diced
  • 1 tbsp sugar (if you're sugar free, then skip, you could substitute a splash of maple syrup)
  • handful mushrooms of your choice chopped into small pieces
  • 2-3 zucchini (zoodles for serving or spaghetti if not gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bone or chicken broth (optional) 


  • food processor
  • large skillet 
  • medium 


For the sauce

In a food processor, add carrots, onions and celery and pulse a few times. You still want to be able to recognize the vegetables. Small but not granular. 

Preheat skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. About 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on paper towel lined plate and set aside. In the same pan, add veggies and 1/4 tsp salt cook for about 5 minutes until they soften. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Add beef, stirring contentiously and breaking it up into smaller pieces. 

When meat is cooked, add wine and turn up heat and scrape any pieces off the bottom. Cook until most of the wine is evaporated. Add tomato sauce and paste, oregano, mushrooms, salt, pepper and sugar (sugar helps to balance the acidity when making tomato sauce). Add the bacon back in, basil and parsley and lower the heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. If you want to thin out the sauce, feel free to use some or all of the broth. 

For the zoodles

Use whatever device you have for cutting your zucchini into thin strips. Heat frying pan and a tbsp of oil olive oil and add zucchini noodles. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring continuously. 

To assemble, place zoodles on plate, top with the bolognese sauce and add additional basil if you so desire. This will pair exceptionally well with a Nebiolo or Pinot Noir.