Roasted Red Pepper "Bolognese" -- Lo/No Tomato!

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By Heidi Hoerman
from Columbia, SC

Using red bell peppers as the main ingredient for this sauce is great for those of us who react badly to tomatoes but really have a hankering for a red sauce. As written, the recipes does include a dollop of tomato paste but it may be left out. The recipe specifies using dark miso for its salty taste and sweet soy sauce for sweetness. They are wonderful "umami bombs" that deserve a place in any kitchen. If you don't have these at hand, any salt and sugar can be used to adjust the sauce taste to your liking.

serves About 6 to 8 cups of meat sauce
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 3 Hr
method Stove Top


  •   3 Tbsp
    olive oil
  •   2 large
    shallots, minced
  •   4 to 6 clove
    garlic, minced
  •   2 large
    celery stalks, diced
  •   2 medium
    carrots, diced
  •   1 lb
    ground beef
  •   1/2 tsp
  •   1 tsp
    black pepper, freshly ground
  •   1 tsp
    nutmeg, freshly grated
  •   1 c
    dry white wine
  •   1 c
    whole milk
  •   8 to 12 oz
    mushrooms, sliced
  •   6 medium
    red peppers, roasted and peeled
  •   1 c
    chicken broth, homemade or low salt
  •   1 Tbsp
    tomato paste (optional)
  •   2 to 4 tsp
    dark miso paste or other salt
  •   2 to 4 tsp
    sweet soy sauce or brown sugar

How To Make

  • 1
    In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots and celery and gently cook until slightly softened, stirring occasionally. About 5 minutes.
  • 2
    Add shallots and garlic and continue to cook gently about 2 minutes. Do not allow vegetables to brown.
  • 3
    Add ground beef, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beef has lost its pink color and is broken into small pieces.
  • 4
    Add white wine. Turn up heat to medium high and boil mixture vigorously until the smell of the wine reduces. About 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil dry or vegetables to brown.
  • 5
    Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer 20 minutes.
  • 6
    Add mushrooms and simmer an additional 10 minutes, stirring to make sure all mushrooms are submerged.
  • 7
    Process roasted red peppers, the tomato paste, and 1/2 the chicken broth in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Add this and the remaining chicken broth to the simmering mixture. Stir. Slowly simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • 8
    Stir. Taste and adjust the salt/sweet balance with dark miso and sweet soy. Alternatively, use other salty and sweet ingredients to adjust the flavor.
  • 9
    Continue to simmer slowly for another 2 hours, stirring at half hour intervals.
  • 10
    Use as you would any Italian-style meat sauce. Can be served immediately over pasta or cooled for later use in assembling lasagna, pizza, etc. May be frozen.