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  • Heather Bainbridge EdM, MA, RDN

Courtesy of Ina Garten: Weeknight Bolognese You Will Love

With Thanksgiving on its way, this recipe from Ina Garten is something I'm always thankful for because it's quick, healthy (with some of my modifications) and oh so satisfying. If you're looking to cut out or minimize pasta, spiralized zucchini hits the mark.

Why this recipe is a winner. You can have it on the table in 35 minutes or less. It contains protein, vegetables, carbs and seasonings (to boost antioxidant intake), so it's balanced. It's easy clean up. You can modify it easily-use pasta as instructed, spiralized zucchini or a combination of the two! And people love it-I've served this numerous times to guests and it's a regular family weeknight meal because it's guaranteed to be met with approving smiles.

Miscellaneous Tips

1. If using canned tomato paste, portion out tablespoon servings, wrap in plastic wrap, store in a freezer bag and freeze for future use.

2. Or for a faster reusable alternative buy the tomato paste tubes.

3. My husband and I loved substituting spiralized zucchini for the pasta. I also mixed the two together to increase vegetables and decrease total pasta and had a great texture. I recommend gemelli if using the attachment that makes zucchini squiggles. You can buy a spiralizer or many grocery stores sell it in the produce section.

4. Ground turkey often is packaged in 20 oz containers. If you're using 20 oz, add overflowing measuring spoons of the spices except for the salt.

To your Health,


Slightly Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? 2010

Ingredients 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta (I omit)

1 pound lean ground sirloin or 93% lean ground turkey (even 20 oz) 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves) 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided (Substitution: 1c chicken broth)

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano 2 tablespoons tomato paste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells (We love rigatoni or gemelli) 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed or 1 ½ tbsp. dried basil 1/4 cup heavy cream (Substitution: ½ cup milk you already have at home) 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving Directions Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine, broth or water into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt (optional or can add less), a splash of oil (same), and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine (omit if not using wine) to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

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