Indispensable Meat Sauce for Pasta

Indispensable Meat Sauce for Pasta

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From the EatingWell Kitchen

Prosciutto, wine and mushrooms dress up this all-purpose spaghetti sauce; keep some handy in your freezer to toss with your favorite pasta, layer into lasagna or spoon over polenta. We have added bulgur to reduce the amount of ground beef.

Ingredients 16 servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings
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  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes (with juices), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1½ teaspoons dried
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup bulgur, (see Note)


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  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain fat. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to the Dutch oven and heat over low heat. Add prosciutto, onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and saute until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute for 10 minutes more. Add wine, increase heat to medium-high and cook until the wine has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and the reserved beef. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for an hour. Add water and bulgur. Simmer until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that—cracked wheat. Since the parboiling step is skipped, cracked wheat must be cooked for up to an hour whereas bulgur simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at,

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ½ cup
  • Per serving: 75 calories; 2 g fat(1 g sat); 3 g fiber; 8 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 18 mcg folate; 11 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 1,751 IU vitamin A; 21 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 255 mg sodium; 368 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, ½ fat

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