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Tasty Meat Sauce with Hidden Veggies - Step by Step Recipe

Updated on October 27, 2016
Robie Benve profile image

Born and raised in Italy, Robie loves good and healthy food, even better if easy to cook. :) She proudly raised 2 kids that eat everything.

A Delicious and Healthy Meat Sauce

5 stars from 1 rating of Bolognese Meat Sauce

A Yummy Bolognese Meat Sauce that Provides Veggie Servings

This meat sauce, known also as Bolognese sauce, makes any pasta dish very yummy.

It is best when accompanied with textured pasta, that has lines or grooves on it, so the sauce sticks to it better. My favorites are penne and shells. I love when the shells fill up with the sauce! I also use it on gnocchi and this meat sauce is definitely the main ingredient in my wonderful homemade lasagna.

Penne with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese
Penne with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese | Source

Kids Love It!

The best thing is that it makes my children go "Yay", they love this sauce, and little they know that when they eat a pasta dish with my meat sauce, they are also getting a nice portion of veggies with it.

In fact, this is a great way to sneak veggies into the diet of those children that are a little resistant to the healthy diet idea. They will get their veggie servings and not even know it!

Bologna is the name of a beautiful Italian city

A markerBologna, Italy -
get directions

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 20 min
Ready in: 1 hour 35 min
Yields: serves 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef, lean
  • 3 Carrots, big
  • 3 Celery sticks
  • 1 Onion, medium size
  • 3 Garlic, cloves
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (EVOO)
  • 3 cans Whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 3 Bay leaves

Correct Pronunciation of Bologna

What Does Bolognese Mean?

The meat sauce is called Bolognese because it's typical of Bologna, which is a pretty city in Italy.

By the way, the correct pronunciation of Bologna is b uh - l OH n - y uh (you can hear it in the short video).

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, mince the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
  2. In big non-stick pot pour the EVOO, one cup of water, and the minced vegetables. Cook over medium heat until softer, for about 10 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep moist.
  3. Add the ground meat, stirring well and braking any meat lumps down. Continue cooking on medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a blender or food processor, puree the whole tomatoes and add to the pot, including their can juice. Add the tomato paste and the bay leaves as well.
  5. Stir and cover. Once it starts boiling, lower the stove temperature and let it simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 60 minutes.
  6. Add butter and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!
  7. Read additional cooking tips below.

Step by Step Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
In a food processor, mince the onion, and garlic, than put them in a big non-stick pot with some EVOO, on medium heat.Add the minced carrots and celery, a cup of water, and let cook. Cook over medium heat until softer, for about 10 minutes.Add the ground meat, stirring well and braking any meat lumps,Cook over medium heat until there is no more pink in the meat/Add the pureed whole tomatoes and  including their can juice.Add salt, pepper,the tomato paste and the bay leaves as well.Once it starts boiling, lower the stove temperature and let it simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 60 minutes.
In a food processor, mince the onion, and garlic, than put them in a big non-stick pot with some EVOO, on medium heat.
In a food processor, mince the onion, and garlic, than put them in a big non-stick pot with some EVOO, on medium heat. | Source
Add the minced carrots and celery, a cup of water, and let cook. Cook over medium heat until softer, for about 10 minutes.
Add the minced carrots and celery, a cup of water, and let cook. Cook over medium heat until softer, for about 10 minutes. | Source
Add the ground meat, stirring well and braking any meat lumps,
Add the ground meat, stirring well and braking any meat lumps, | Source
Cook over medium heat until there is no more pink in the meat/
Cook over medium heat until there is no more pink in the meat/ | Source
Add the pureed whole tomatoes and  including their can juice.
Add the pureed whole tomatoes and including their can juice. | Source
Add salt, pepper,the tomato paste and the bay leaves as well.
Add salt, pepper,the tomato paste and the bay leaves as well. | Source
Once it starts boiling, lower the stove temperature and let it simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 60 minutes.
Once it starts boiling, lower the stove temperature and let it simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 60 minutes. | Source

Try it in lasagna!

This meat sauce is perfect to be used in lasagna as well.
This meat sauce is perfect to be used in lasagna as well.

Cooking Tips

  • For a "redder" sauce, you can increase the quantity of whole tomatoes, substitute with crushed tomato cans, or add a few teaspoons of tomato paste.
  • Add some heavy cream right before serving, to make it like the creamy pink sauce they serve and many restaurants.
  • For added yummy taste, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on your pasta dish.
  • Before serving take out the bay leaves.


Tortiglioni with meat sauce
Tortiglioni with meat sauce | Source

© 2012 Robie Benve

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    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hi teaches,

      that is y lasagna, I make it with the meat sauce above and bechamel sauce. I always make extra sauce and I freeze it in plastic containers, so I am not tempted to buy the store made one (which is very convenient, but just not the same).

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Is that your lasagna in the photo? Yummy! Thanks for the post on the sauce, I have been looking for one that to try -- instead of the store bought that I used to get. Voted up!

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      It's really hard to tell there are veggies in there, at least from the taste. You can kind of see the orange speckles of the carrots, but you are right, it tests great. Thanks for the nice comment! :)

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great way to incorporate veggies into a meal! I never thought to process the veggies...even though I love veggies, I bet they taste great this way. Great Hub!

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