Thursday, October 17, 2013

vegetable bolognese

It's great to have a go-to recipe that comes together easily with items you usually have on hand for a quick dinner or last-minute guests.  This vegetable bolognese is mine.  It's chock full of vegetables and flavor, it reheats well, it's a great alternative to a more generic marinara, and vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will enjoy it.

vegetable bolognese
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

5 carrots, peeled and cut into four or five chunks
2-3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
1 large white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
28 ounces crushed tomatoes

Place carrots, bell peppers, onion, and garlic in a food processor.  Grind until the vegetables are finely chopped, but the mixture still has texture.  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the vegetable mixture and cook until softened and onions pieces are translucent.  Add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly.  Turn the heat to medium low, stir in the wine and spices, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add in the crushed tomatoes.  Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until enough liquid has cooked off to reach the consistency you desire.  Adjust the seasonings.  Serve over rigatoni, with shaved parmesan sprinkled on top.

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