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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bolognese and... NOT PASTA!!!

As you already know, I've sworn off all simple carbs in order to best control my diabetes. I make a damn good venison bolognese and found myself at a loss as to what to do so I could still enjoy my delicious sauce with pasta taken out of the equation. What I came up with is a dish that blew our minds the first time I made it. Carolyn and I sat here staring wide-eyed at each other wondering why we'd never thought of doing this before! LOL Set aside the notion that it's a very healthy dish... It's amazing in both flavor and presentation and is actually titled:

Venison Bolognese & Zucchini Ribbons


· 1 - 1.25 lbs venison or very lean beef chop meat
· 1 28 oz can plum shaped tomatoes in puree
· olive oil
· 4 cloves garlic, chopped
· 1 yellow onion, cut up
· 1/2 tsp salt
· fresh ground black pepper to taste (I like about 6 twists on the grinder)
· 1/2 tsp garlic powder
· dash of oregano
· 1 tsp dried parsley
· 4 squash/zucchini, 2 yellow and 2 green, thin enough to fit the width of a peeler blade


This sauce is so simple that I'm always baffled at how
anyone could ever use a jar sauce... (shudders at the thought).
Ok serious now.....

Start by frying up the chop meat in a large skillet with a bit of olive
oil until fully cooked and a nice shade of brown. Set aside. 

Add a bit of olive oil to your sauce pot and sautee the chopped garlic. As the garlic JUST gets brown add in the cut up onion and sautee til slightly transluscent and shiny.

Place canned tomatoes in a bowl and cut into quarters or bite-size pieces... Not too small as they will cook down some in the pot.
Add tomatoes and puree to sauce pot and stir. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and dried parsley. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finally stir in the fried chop meat. The mixture will seem very meaty and not at all liquid.... that's intentional as our base for the sauce is very different from pasta.

Ok... time to make our pasta substitute... Wash the zucchini and yellow squash and get out a peeler. A regular one will work, but I find you get better control with one that has the blade perpendicular to the handle. This is mostly for presentation as the full width ribbons will have yellow and green edges, respectively. Peel off ribbons until halfway through the vegetable, turn over and peel rest from other side. I'm not much into waste, so I typically save the leftover centers to fry up with some eggs for breakfast next day.

Heat some olive in a very large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat and add the ribbons. Sautee with pretty much a continuous toss because they cook very quickly and you want all to be cooked evenly. Sautee just enough so there's still a little crunch and the veggies kind of stand when piled. Overcook them and you end up with a pile of mush... not good. Salt the squash to taste as you sautee... go easy, though, as the sauce will bring plenty of life to the veggies.

Plate the squash with tongs, transferring as little liquid as possible.
Top with sauce and enjoy! :-)

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