I’ve been binge watching cooking shows this summer. It seems like everyone keeps making bolognese sauce. I sit there drooling and craving spaghetti bolognese as the chefs talk about how long it takes to cook a bolognese sauce in order to get a good, meaty flavor. I have all respect for long, traditional ways of making food. (I seem to always go the long route and make my life harder.) But, I don’t have all day this time. I have about 20 minutes, maybe 35.
So, I started researching some bolognese sauces. Then I got hungry one night and just went for. It wasn’t scientific at all, just intuition and ingredients on hand. “How about I sauté the onions and garlic in bacon fat? Bacon fat makes everything more flavorful and richer.” Bingo! A quick and delicious spaghetti bolognese was born. And it has been on our dinner rotation every week since.
So go make some quick and healthy spaghetti bolognese and enjoy every rich, meaty, flavorful bite in about 20 minutes.
You’ll notice in this recipe I have a range of measurements for the seasonings. Every palate is different. Season this sauce according your palate and taste preferences. If you are unsure about the amount, start with 1/2 a teaspoon of each seasoning. Continue to add 1/2 a teaspoon of seasoning at a time until it taste the way you like.
- 2 Tbsp bacon fat*
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2-2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2-2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2-2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2-2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2-2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1- 15.5 oz jar of Rao’s Marinara
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
*The bacon fat is a must in this recipe. It allows you to pack in all the deep, meaty flavor without having to cook the bolognese sauce all day. If you do not have bacon fat on hand, start by cooking 4-6 pieces of bacon in your fry pan. Remove the cooked bacon and use the rendered fat to cook the onions and garlic. Make sure to use a good, humanely raised bacon.
- If you are going to serve the bolognese over spaghetti squash, start cooking it about 10 minutes before you make the sauce. (Directions for cooking spaghetti squash are below.)
- Dice the onion and finely chop the garlic.
- In a 10, or, 12 inch fry pan, add the bacon fat and melt over medium-low heat.
- Once the bacon fat is melted and hot, add the garlic and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and begin to caramelize.
- Add the ground beef and cook until it begins to brown. Add seasonings— sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Season according to your own taste. If you are unsure about the amount, start with 1/2 a teaspoon. Continue to add 1/2 a teaspoon of seasoning at a time until it taste the way you like it. (I tend to add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and about 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning.)
- Stir the beef and onions together and continue to cook for a minute or two. Add the marinara sauce. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 13 minutes. (Taste the sauce as it cooks to see if you need to add more seasonings.) Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from scorching.
- While the sauce is cooking, take about 5 or 6 basil leaves and stack them on top of each other. Roll them up together, then cut them into 1/8 inch strips to create ribbons.
- Add the fresh basil at the very last minute of the sauce cooking.
- Serve over spaghetti squash, or, your favorite pasta. (I really like Capello’s grain-free pastas.) Top with sprigs of fresh basil and enjoy.
To make spaghetti squash:
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half and de-seed. Then cut each half in half.
- Sprinkle each piece of squash with sea salt and black pepper.
- Place the squash flesh side down on a baking tray. Cook for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Scrape the flesh of the squash with a fork to create “noodles”. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper. Top with the bolognese and fresh basil. Enjoy!