Pasta Bolognese


The first harvest from my garden is in! I’ve planted a whole mess of veggies and just yesterday I finally got to harvest some of them. Thanks to our wacky wet spring here in Colorado, some of the plants have had explosive overnight growth and some have just exploded…specifically, my carrots. When carrots get too much water (as we definitely have had due to the rain) they split down the center. Still perfectly delicious but not so pretty. So, what’s a girl to do with split carrots, loads of fresh herbs and some local Colorado beef? Make a bolognese!

1st harvest

The first harvest!


  • 1 package Barilla gluten-free spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon salt for pasta water
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil for sauteing, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20 or 90/10 meat to fat ratio)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 jar favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped fine
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped fine, divided
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for topping


1. Prep your pasta water.Fill a large pot with water, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil.

2. While the pasta water is coming to a boil, brown your ground beef at medium-low heat in a large skillet coated with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. As the beef cooks, break up any clumps. When the beef is almost fully cooked, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon dried oregano to the ground meat. Once browned, drain any excess fat from the beef and set aside.

browning meat

3. While the beef cooks, saute 1 diced onion, 3 diced carrots and 4 diced stalks of celery together in a large sauce pot over medium heat with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Saute until the onions become translucent, about 5-8 minutes.

starting vegetables

4. Once the onions are translucent, add 4 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons tomato paste and the cooked ground beef. Stir well to fully incorporate the tomato paste and saute for an additional 5 minutes.

add meat

5. Here comes the cheater part…Add a jar of your favorite tomato sauce to the veggie mix. Add a 1/4 cup of red wine to the pot and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

add tomato sauce

6. At this point (hopefully), your pasta water should be boiling. Add the gluten free spaghetti  to the boiling water and be sure to set a timer for the pasta based on the directions on the box. Gluten free pasta is extremely easy to overcook and can become sticky and mushy if overcooked. I like the use the Barilla brand of GF pasta. It’s affordable, cooks like flour-based pasta and has the best texture I’ve found so far.

7. Add 1 cup spinach, 3/4 cup of chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped basil, 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon dried oregano to the sauce. Continue to simmer on low until the pasta is done.

herbs in sauce

8. Once cooked, drain your pasta well and add it directly to the sauce. Combine the two using tongs or spaghetti servers. Serve up some of your delicious creation, top with remaining parsley and shaved Parmesan. Enjoy!



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