Homemade Pasta Bolognese Sauce

As someone who tries to eat healthy, lots of times my choices are “forced” on The Kid since I make the meals. One thing I try to do to encourage healthy eating as a family is ask my daughter to pick out a meal that she really wants. I then make the meal but Questify it and make it lower in fat, calories, sodium, and other things if needed.

I don’t announce to her that I’m doing this but I just do it and it’s no big deal. She gets to feel involved in the choices of what we eat, we get a healthy meal, and we get to build some good habits and have fun trying new things. Here are a few more tips on eating healthy as a family since I know this can be a sore subject in some households.

One time when we did this, The Kid picked Chicken Teriyaki. This time it was pasta bolognese. She’s definitely a pasta addict so the chance to make a healthier version was something I enjoyed. The sauce turned out perfectly and I can even see it on top of a plate of nachos.

Homemade Pasta Bolognese Sauce Pasta alla Bolognese

  • 1 cup (100g) diced onion
  • 1 cup (100g) diced celery
  • 1/2 cup (64g) diced carrots
  • 16 oz lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 187 ml pinot grigio
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 10.75 oz can tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Dice your onion, celery and carrots into small pieces and add to a large pot along with the ground beef. Heat over medium heat and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes, breaking up the meat into chunks and stirring every now and then. Once there is no more pink left in the meat and the veggies are softened, add the wine, spices, broth and tomato puree.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then. I had mine at a pretty good boil, not just a slow simmer with bubbles every now and then. After an hour, add the almond milk and stir. Boil for another 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat. Toss with your favorite pasta noodles and enjoy.

Makes 8 servings at approximately 128 calories per serving – 13g protein, 9g carbs, and 4g fat.

Notes

  • I had a pack of the individual serving sized bottles of wine on hand and each one was 187ml so that’s why there’s the random wine measurement in there. The bottle is approximately one glass which is 5oz. Feel free to use the traditional measurements if you don’t want to mess with milliliters. 😉
  • If you have trouble finding tomato puree like I sometimes do, buy a can of petite diced tomatoes or whole canned tomatoes and give them a whirl in your blender or Magic Bullet. It’s pretty much the same thing and is much easier to find for some reason. Tomato sauce is different as it has spices and other ingredients.
  • I used almond milk since The Kid has a dairy allergy. You can use regular milk in its place if that’s easier for you. Both work well in this recipe.

I served ours with farfalle which is a bowtie shaped pasta noodle. I cleverly hid some zucchini noodles underneath to add even more “noodles” and veggies. This recipe does take a little bit to make but for the most part you aren’t actively involved. I left my sauce simmering while I walked the dog, picked The Kid up at a friends house, and straightened up the house. Just use judgement when leaving your stove alone as always!

I haven’t actually tried it, but it could be something that would work well in the crock pot by cooking the meat and veggies first, then simmering on low for 8 – 10 hours. If you try the crock pot version, please report back. I need to know! 🙂

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