Wow. I am so proud and excited to be writing my 50th entry here on my Pantry Portfolio! This has been a space for me to reflect, to document, and to meet many other wonderful folks from around the globe who share a love of food creation and experimentation.
This afternoon we came home from a day of visiting open houses. While we saw the first signs of buds poking through the ground, it was still chilly enough to carry warm coffee. This is such a joyful time of year. Feelings of hope, rebirth, and fresh starts abound – and all seem to be coming at exactly the right time.
For dinner tonight I dug through my shelf of cookbooks and found this recipe in Practical Paleo, one I bought a few years ago to push myself out of my comfort zone. While we are not paleo in our diet, this book was successful in nudging us to create a wider range of meals, particularly ones that highlight meat, veggies, and new spices.
Overall, I’d say that this meal was very easy to prepare, but the bacon overpowered the sauce more than I’d prefer. So, I will continue to keep my eyes out for variations and ways to bring new flavors into a bolognese.
Tonight, I am so grateful for this 50th entry, and look forward to sharing many more experiments from my kitchen!
- 1 big spaghetti squash
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 2 onions – finely diced
- 2 big carrots – finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery – finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic – finely diced
- 2 pounds of veal, beef, or pork (I went with the meatloaf mix)
- 4 slices of thick bacon – cut into lardons
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 6 oz tomato paste (small can)
- 1 cup white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steps & Notes:
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting into two shallow halves, then removing the seeds and goop. Place the halves -face down- into a baking dish with a tiny amount of water. Bake for 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the bolognese! First, saute the carrots, celery and onions in the butter until translucent. Then, add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add the bacon, and then the meat, cooking until browned through.
- This step took a bit longer than expected – maybe 7-8 minutes.
- After the meat is fully cooked through, lower the heat and add the coconut milk, wine, and tomato paste. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the squash is done, remove from the oven and use a fork to separate the squash from the rind.
- This should happen pretty easily. If not, you may want to cook the squash for 5-10 more minutes.
Serve in bowls topped with freshly grated pecorino.
Thoughts for Next Time:
- This recipe for bolognese relied fairly heavily on the bacon for flavor. I’d like to find some other recipes that bring in spices or fresh herbs instead.
- One way to reduce the bacon flavor while retaining this recipe would be to cook the bacon and drain the fat before adding the rest of the meat
- Add some red wine to the sauce instead of white
- Incorporate more tomatoes in order to expand the sauce a bit
- Try some of the tips offered in this recipe (cream, fish sauce, tomatoes, slow cooking – to only name a few!)