Wednesday, March 14, 2018

RECIPE: Bolognese Meat Sauce with Hidden Nutrition

According to Dr. Thomas Cowan, anthroposophical doctor and former member of our CSA (before he moved to CA):
"... taking our lead from healthy traditional peoples, we should strive to eat at least 10 to 12 different plants a day: some roots (carrots, beets), some stems (celery, Brussels sprouts), some leaves (kale, chard), and some fruits and flowers (tomatoes, zucchini). Eating different plant parts and colors is the surest way to avail ourselves of all the nutrients plants have to offer."
This recipe - which looks and tastes like a traditional bolognese sauce - is loaded with 15 different plants.  It's another recipe that most people won't have all the ingredients now but I'm hoping it will inspire you to preserve them this summer.  Using home-preserved ingredients it comes together in 30 minutes!

The recipe makes a LOT - enough for 3-4 pounds of pasta depending on your preferred meat:pasta ratio. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge (stored in glass, not plastic) and it can be frozen.  Just remember to add the EVOO after reheating.

Barb's Bolognese Meat Sauce with 15 Plants
 Makes enough for 3-4 pounds of pasta

1 T. ghee, lard or tallow
1.5 - 2 t. fennel seeds*
1 pint home-canned onions, carrots and celeriac *
1 quart home-canned ground beef (about 1.5#) *
1 quart home-canned ground pork (about 1.5#) *
3 18-oz jars tomato passata 
1 t. wild fennel pollen
3-4 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 t. opal basil, rubbed between your palms to crumble
1/2 t. oregano, rubbed between your palms to crumble
1/4 t. powdered rosemary
1/4 t. cayenne
4 t. Himalayan pink salt
1 T. Dr. Cowan's perennial greens powder (tree collards, malabar spinach, gynura procumbens, moringa leaves)
1 T. Dr. Cowan's burdock root powder
* The fennel I use is very pungent. If yours is old, or milder, you may need 2 t. or more.  The sauce should be redolent of fennel, as if you used Italian sausage.

For Serving:
2 T. chopped Italian parsley
cooked pasta
extra virgin olive oil
opt: grated parmesan cheese
opt: pepper flakes

Melt fat on med-high heat and saute fennel seeds until light brown.  Add onions, carrots, celeriac and garlic and stir to combine.  Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors.  Stir periodically to insure it's not sticking.

If you need to make it earlier in the day, it can simmer for several hours (make sure it doesn't stick or burn, add water as needed.)

Stir in parsley and serve with pasta and EVOO.  The recipe is very low in fat so be generous with the EVOO.  Parmesan and pepper flakes are optional.

I made this for a vegetable hater who doesn't even like seasoning herbs and he inhaled it, asking for seconds and thirds.  If you like vegetables, double all the herbs and powders.   I will often stir in some chopped cooked spinach right before serving to increase the nutritional content even further. 

* NOTE:  If you don't have canned onions-carrots-celeriac you can use 1 c. minced onions, and 1/2 c. each of carrot and celeriac pulp.  You can use celery instead but don't use celery pulp, it's too stringy.  Saute all three of these after the fennel seeds with an additional 1 T. fat until soft and slightly caramelized, about 15 min.

If you don't have canned ground meat, add fresh ground meat to the pan after the onions are cooked and before you add the tomato sauce.  Saute until cooked through, about 15 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients.  You will need to cook it much longer- about 2 hours - to tenderize the meat, adding water as needed so it doesn't stick or burn.  The sauce is best with a combination of beef and pork but you can use all beef.

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