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ZUCCHINI NOODLE BOLOGNESE

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Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped (about 2 large stalks)

1 cup carrots, finely chopped (about 2 large carrots)

8 cloves garlic, chopped

4 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped

1 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)

1 ½ pounds ground pork

3 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

1, 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine (plus one for the cook!)

½ cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup tomato paste

3, 10-12” zucchinis (or 6 smaller ones)

½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more on the side for sprinkling

Fresh chopped parsley or basil for garnish

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pan and cook stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft and begin to lightly caramelize, about 7-8 minutes.  Add the prosciutto and cook until lightly crispy, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.

Add the ground beef, pork, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meats with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Cook until all of the meat is in small pieces and mostly cooked thought about 8-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juices to the pan and break them up gently with your hands or the wooden spoon. Add the wine, milk, heavy cream, and tomato paste to the pot and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally until a thick ragu has formed and much of the liquid is absorbed into the meat.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchinis into long strips (both green and white parts).  When you reach the seeds at the core, discard the seeded part.  You are basically creating thick zucchini ribbons or ‘pappardelle’ noodles.   This should make about 10-12 cups of noodles.  Lay out a double layer of paper towels on the counter large enough so you can place all of the noodles in a flat layer.  Top with another double layer of paper towels and gently press to absorb any excess juice out of the zucchinis.  Let them ‘drain’ while the sauce cooks, pressing occasionally.

When your sauce is ragu ready (your house will smell amazing) stir in the ½ cup of the parmesan cheese.  Then, stir in your zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are just soft enough to have the texture of al dente pasta.  This does not take long.

Garnish with chopped parsley and more parmesan cheese.  Pour another glass of wine and tuck a napkin under your chin….

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