Although it’s not simmered as long as the classic Italian meat sauce, depth and richness still come through in this weeknight version that’s ready in under an hour. Extra sauce keeps three days in the fridge and freezes beautifully. While this recipe calls for a bit of flavor-enhancing red wine, you can substitute water and adjust your macros accordingly. FYI, if you can’t find zucchini noodles, make long zucchini shavings with a vegetable peeler. Also, if you don’t have a microwave, add the zucchini noodles to the pan of hot pasta sauce, toss for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm and tender-crisp, and serve.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 lb (80% lean) ground beef
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbsp (1-1/2 oz) red wine
- 14 oz can of chopped tomato or ground tomatoes with their juices
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1½ tsp red wine vinegar
- 3 medium zucchini (12 oz total), spiralized
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pan or pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and ground beef and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the beef into crumbles with a spoon while cooking.
- Add the celery, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often to soften the celery, 3 minutes. Add the red wine and stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, cover, lower heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the meat and vegetables are very tender, 20 minutes more.
- Stir in the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, place the spiralized zucchini in a microwave-safe dish, season with salt and pepper, cover with a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and cook for 1 minute. Toss and check to ensure it’s heated through but not wilting. Continue to warm in 30-second increments if necessary.
- Divide the warm zucchini between 4 serving plates, top with the sauce, and serve with Parmesan on the side.