bolognese sauce

My husband has been working to perfect this bolognese sauce for a long time and it broke his heart when I told him I was going on the autoimmune paleo protocol (AIP) last year and couldn’t eat either noodles or tomatoes! So we put our heads together and came up with a way to make a paleo bolognese sauce compatible with AIP but still retain the taste he had fine tuned.

The noodle issue is easy to solve if you have a spiralizer. This is the brand we have and have been very happy with.

Typically we make zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” but this week our Trader Joe’s had some restocking issues due to bad weather in the northeast US so I was only able to get yellow summer squash. It actually worked really well and I rather liked the yellow color better than the slightly green tint that zucchini noodles have. One difference is that the yellow squash has more seeds, so you might want to cut and scoop them out before beginning the spiralizing process.

The other big issue was the tomato sauce. Enter “nomato” sauce. While I was on the elimination phase of the diet I was determined to perfect my own version but ultimately decided that others had done it so well that I didn’t need to keep trying. My personal favorite is this one from the Urban Poser. Here are some others to try…

If you are able to eat tomatoes (consider yourself lucky!), then you can use my husband’s simple tomato sauce in this recipe, which follows the main recipe below.

Notes for healing diets:

Paleo Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Paleo Bolognese Sauce with Squash Noodles
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This paleo/primal bolognese sauce packs a ton of taste and modifications are suggested for making it AIP-compatible.
  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (omit for low-FODMAP)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed or minced (omit for low-FODMAP)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups Richie's tomato sauce or your favorite "nomato" sauce (use "nomato" for AIP)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste or pumpkin puree (use pumpkin puree for AIP)
  • OPTIONAL: 3 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
  • ½ cup heavy cream or coconut milk (use coconut milk for AIP, SCD and strict paleo)
  1. Over medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet, cook pancetta until fat is rendered and pancetta is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving fat in pan.
  2. Add olive oil, celery, carrot, rosemary, and sage. Cook until carmelized, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the wine is reduced and the pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the ground meats and cook, breaking into small pieces, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the red wine and reduce until pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato or "nomato" sauce, the tomato paste or pumpkin puree, and the reserved pancetta as well as the optional peppers, if you are using them.
  8. Lower heat to simmer and cook until thick and all flavors have mingled, about 1 hour.
  9. Adjust seasonings to taste and add heavy cream or coconut milk just before serving.
  10. Serve over squash noodles.


Richie’s Famous Tomato Sauce Recipe

Richie's Famous Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 cups
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Simple and delicious! Use in bolognese sauce or on its own.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) whole plum tomatoes packed in their own juices
  • 1 pinch raw sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it is golden brown but not burnt (about 3-5 minutes but watch closely!).
  2. Add tomatoes, raw sugar, salt and pepper. Stir, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Cook until the sauce is thick and no longer watery, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and add basil.

Like this recipe? Be sure to check out Mr. Gutsy’s other contribution to the blog so far… Braised Pork Shoulder with Pancetta and Wine Sauce. 

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bolognese sauce 2



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