Nightshade Free Turkey Bolognese with Zucchini

A rich, nightshade-free Bolognese style sauce, with turkey and zucchini spirals. AIP compliant and paleo. 

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I'm going to come right out and say this. Although I make AIP nightshade-free sauces very regularly at home, it's not because I have an autoimmune intolerance to nightshades, like some of my friends do. It's because eating a rich tomato sauce gives me the worst fricking heartburn ever. 

I went through a long period of indigestion and heartburn about a year ago, and I found I definitely had triggers. Raw tomatoes are ok, rich, concentrated simmered down tomato sauces not so much. Red meat was another one. Poultry was better for me. 

The other reason of course that I stick to this nightshade-free sauce is because it's so utterly good for you. I can easily tick off 4 of my 5-a-day just in this sauce. Beets, carrots, red onion... all dark and nutrient dense. And they're the right veggies - dark red, purple, orange and green veggies that are full of great things that keep our bodies working properly. 

The trick with zucchini noodles is not to overcook them. If you do, they'll go all transparent and soggy and just break up into a mush. I like this 'instant noodle' style of cooking them. 

I hope you enjoy! 

Nightshade Free Turkey Bolognese with Zucchini
Serves 4
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
6 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
3 cooked beets, roughly chopped (I buy the vacuum packed ones)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
3 sticks of celery, chopped 
a glug (about 150ml) red wine
350ml beef stock 
pinch of salt
1 tsp dried oregano
400g ground turkey
3 medium zucchini, trimmed, washed and spiralised or cut into thin strips using a julienne peeler
handful of fresh rocket/arugula

Heat up a large saucepan on the stove and warm 1 tsp of the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, beets, garlic and celery and stir-fry for a few minutes until sizzling and aromatic. Pour in the wine and the stock. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are softened. Blitz with a stick blender and turn off the heat. Stir in the oregano. 

In a frying pan, heat up the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and fry the ground turkey until well browned and cooked through. Once cooked through, pour in the sauce and stir well. Leave to simmer gently while you prep the zucchini. 

Take the zucchini strips and place in a large heat-proof bowl. Boil the kettle and cover the zucchini strips with boiling water (be careful not to splash yourself). Leave for 1-2 minutes. The zucchini will soften just enough. Drain. 

Serve the zucchini strips with the turkey Bolognese sauce, with some rocket or arugula over the top. 

Made this recipe? Let me know about it by tagging me on Instagram @joromerofood. I'd love to see!

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