Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zucchini Noodle Bolognese

Wow! I can hardly believe tomorrow is Wednesday! Not that I'm counting down the days, but I do look forward to sleeping in a little. We also have a basketball game to look forward to and I only have two more weeks left of my 6 week challenge. Believe it or not, I am becoming a morning worker outer. That is something to be said for someone who has never been much of a morning person.

If you too have been following some sort of New Year's resolution, challenge, or are looking for healthier Italian fare, this recipe is it! Zucchini noodles replace the pasta adding an easy additional serving of veg to your day. Plus, flavor is not sacrificed with this bolognese sauce. I simply swapped out the fatty meat trio of ground beef, pork, and sausages for lean, ground Italian turkey sausage and a few slices of chopped center cut bacon. In the words of the Bear, "Even if it's just a little bacon, everything is better with bacon."

If you do not have a veggie spiralizer, no problem! Simply use a vegetable peeler to create beautiful ribbon like noodles. If you don't feel like putting the work into the noodles, just slice the zucchini into disks. No matter what, you will not be disappointed!

Zucchini Noodle Bolognese
Serves 4

1 teaspoon olive oil or grape seed oil
3 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. lean ground Italian turkey sausage
1 jar marinara sauce
2-4 zucchini (depending on size)

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the bacon begins to turn slightly brown. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies begin to soften. Add the turkey sausage. Cook, stirring a little more frequently to break up the turkey, for 6-8 minutes or until the turkey is brown and cooked through. Add the marinara sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often, to allow the flavors to marry together. 

At this point, you can cool the sauce and store in a container in your refrigerator until you are ready to serve if you choose. To make the zucchini noodles, trim the ends off each zucchini. Follow the directions for using your vegetable sprializer. If you are using a vegetable peeler, your noodles will be more like ribbons. I like to heat my noodles in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes before serving to give them an al dente texture, but if you are serving your sauce right away, you can skip this step. Enjoy!

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