For a delicious and healthy Italian main course recipe that meets the given requirements, I recommend preparing "Mushroom and Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles." This recipe is a healthier version of the classic Italian dish Bolognese, replacing traditional pasta with zucchini noodles and using lean beef and mushrooms instead of fatty ground beef. It is packed with flavor, nutrients, and protein, making it a satisfying and wholesome meal for any occasion.
- 4 medium-sized zucchinis
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, make zucchini noodles and set them aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
3. Add chopped onions and minced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
4. Add sliced mushrooms and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
5. Add ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned and no longer pink.
6. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine.
7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. While the sauce is simmering, heat a separate pan over medium heat and add the zucchini noodles.
9. Cook the zucchini noodles for 2-3 minutes, until they are slightly tender but still crisp.
10. Drain the excess water from the pan, and set the noodles aside.
11. Once the sauce is done simmering, add chopped parsley (if desired) and stir.
12. Serve the zucchini noodles topped with the mushroom and beef Bolognese sauce.
- To make the zucchini noodles less watery, sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for a few minutes before cooking.
- Choose lean beef with 90% or higher lean meat to fat ratio to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the dish.
- You can add more vegetables to the Bolognese sauce, such as diced carrots or bell peppers, to increase the fiber and micronutrient content of the dish.
- If you don't have a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, you can use a mandolin or a knife to make thin zucchini strips.
To make the dish visually appealing, you can garnish it with fresh parsley or basil and serve it in a shallow bowl or a deep plate. You can also sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top of the sauce (if desired) for added flavor.
- If you are vegetarian, you can substitute the ground beef with plant-based meat, such as tofu or tempeh.
- If you are gluten-free, you can use gluten-free pasta instead of zucchini noodles.
- If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the Bolognese sauce.
A glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, would complement the flavors of the dish nicely. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, you can serve sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime.
Nutritional Information per serving (based on a serving size of 1/4 of the recipe):
- Calories: 252
- Protein: 26g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fat: 10g
- Fiber: 5g
- Sodium: 847mg
- Vitamin A: 22% DV
- Vitamin C: 68% DV
- Calcium: 8% DV
- Iron: 28% DV
This recipe is a healthier version of the traditional Bolognese sauce, which originated in the city of Bologna in northern Italy. The original recipe dates back to the 18th century and is made with a mixture of ground beef and pork, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and red wine. It is usually served with tagliatelle pasta or other long, flat pasta shapes.
The dish has become a staple of Italian cuisine and is popular around the world. However, traditional Bolognese sauce can be high in calories, fat, and sodium due to the use of fatty meat and cream. This healthier version uses lean beef and mushrooms for a lower-fat alternative and zucchini noodles instead of pasta for a low-carb, nutrient-dense option. The dish is also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber from the vegetables, making it a balanced and healthy main course option.