Zucchini and carrot spaghetti bolognese paleo recipe

Spaghetti bolognese.
Spaghetti bolognese.  Photo: Pete Evans

Bolognese is one of the most-cooked family meals in Australia and to be able to offer a paleo version is just brilliant. I serve it here with some vegetable noodles; however, you can bake a whole sweet potato until tender, then cut it open like a hotdog bun, fill the centre with bolognese and serve it with a delicious salad and some fermented veg on the side.


2 tbsp coconut oil or good-quality animal fat

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

500g beef mince

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp chopped oregano leaves

200ml dry, preservative-free red wine

500g tomato passata or whole peeled tomatoes

300ml chicken bone broth (either homemade or high-quality, shop-bought)

pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

baby basil leaves, to serve 

Vegetable spaghetti

3 zucchini

2 carrots


1. To make the spaghetti, use the thick noodle blade on a spiraliser to create carrot and zucchini noodles. If you don't have a spiraliser, simply julienne the carrot and zucchini using a sharp knife. Set aside until needed.

2. Melt the oil or fat in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 4–5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant and starting to brown.

3. Add the beef and brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5–6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the oregano and wine and cook for 4–5 minutes until the wine has almost evaporated.

4. Add the passata, half the broth and the chilli flakes (if using) and season with salt and pepper.

5. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, adding more broth if needed.

6. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the carrot noodles and cook for 30 seconds, then add the zucchini noodles and cook for a further 15 seconds until just tender. Drain well.

7. Spoon the noodles into four serving bowls, top with the bolognese, then sprinkle on the basil.

Tip: I always add offal to my bolognese, burgers and meatballs to make them even more nutritious (I usually go with about 10 per cent of the total meat quantity – for this recipe it would be about 50g of offal). Try using minced liver, heart, marrow or brain.