Sneaky Vegie Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese must surely be a staple in any household.  It certainly is in mine with two teenage boys!  Plus its a great way to hide lots of nutrients.


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 100g pumpkin, grated
  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • 3 rashers pasture fed bacon, diced
  • 250g grass fed beef mince or 500g beef mince only
  • 250g pasture fed pork mince
  • Sea-salt flakes, to season
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 700g bottle passata
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 500g spaghetti
  • Shaved parmesan, to serve


  1. Heat ½ tsp oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and fry bacon for 3-4 mins. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft and transparent. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add remaining oil to pan. Increase heat to high. Add mince, pumpkin and zucchini, breaking up with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon, until browned. Season with salt.
  3. Reduce heat to medium.  Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add wine, passata, sugar, bay leaves and onion mixture. Season with pepper and stir to combine. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  4. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water following pack instructions or until al dente. Drain. Add 2 large spoonfuls of sauce and toss to combine. Serve pasta topped with remaining sauce, with parmesan on the side.
About Michele Lyons
Michele Lyons spent 25 years working in the corporate environment with 10 years as an Executive Assistant at a senior level. A couple of years ago Michele decided to forgo the long hours in the city to work closer to home and spend more time with her two teenage boys. Michele started working with us at the Farmers Markets and her excellent organisation skills meant she quickly moved into the office. Since Michele joined The Free Range Butcher her role has expanded to include all things administration, recipe testing, inspirational ideas, marketing, communications and all round keeping the team organised and on track. As long as Michele’s has had her morning coffee you can ask her anything!

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