Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu (Pumpkin Bolognese)
Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu (Pumpkin Bolognese) recipe. A delicious pumpkin bolognese recipe made from a combination of pork, bison, and beef, and seasoned with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. This recipe is incredibly delicious!
You know that feeling when you perfect a recipe?? The one that makes you want to yell, “Eureka, I’ve got it!”
Well, this Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu is absolute pumpkin bolognese perfection!
It is rich and velvety and just tastes soooo good!
It’s basically everything beautiful about a regular bolognese but with added pumpkin puree and Fall spices.
This Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu is the second Fall Harvest recipe that I have made while partnered up with US Wellness Meats.
The key to this pumpkin bolognese recipe is mixing grass-fed lean beef, with ground bison, and ground pork. AND then mixing pumpkin puree with ground nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger prior to adding it to the sauce.
Ingredients needed to make this Paleo Pumpkin meat Sauce Ragu:
- olive oil
- red pepper flakes
- ground beef
- ground bison ( if you don’t have bison, use beef)
- ground pork
- tomato paste
- pumpkin puree
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- chopped tomatoes
- strained tomatoes
Using quality meat in this recipe makes a big difference in the flavor.
I mentioned this in my Butternut Squash & Chicken Soup post, but feel like I should mention it again. I was offered products from US Wellness Meats in this post, but they did not ask me to share my opinions on my blog.
My opinions are 100% my own; I just love sharing quality finds! I have also bought products from them on my own.
Keys to the flavor in this Paleo bolognese / pumpkin ragu:
(1) Using three different types of meat, something my mother does often in her recipes, adds so much dimension and flavor.
This is definitely one of the keys to the flavor in this dish.
I’ve actually never use ground pork when making meat sauce before… and that is going to change because it adds a sweetness, more authentic flavor to the sauce.
Plus the extra fat in the pork compliments the leanness of the ground bison.
Ground bison tastes heartier than ground beef, but it too makes the sauce taste a bit sweeter, and a bit more rich, like a Ragu.
Note: if you don’t have bison, use beef in it’s place!
(2) Using the right seasoning is another key.
One of the best parts of this Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu, is that the seasoning is ON POINT!
The ground beef, bison, and pork are seasoned with rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme.
The pumpkin puree is seasoned with ground nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
And the spiced pumpkin added to the sauce almost adds a spiced wine flavor to everything. Which really makes this ragu rich.
(3) Chopped tomatoes are another key to the flavor.
I made this sauce several times and found that using chopped tomatoes resulted in a much better sauce than using crushed tomatoes. So if you can, use a combination of chopped tomatoes and strained tomatoes.
I personally always use Pomi brand tomatoes when I make meat sauce, another trick from my mother, because it just tastes the best.
There is something to be said about tomato products with no artificial flavors, preservatives or citric acid. Classic meat sauce was not meant to have any of those things in there!
How to serve this pumpkin bolognese:
This pumpkin meat sauce recipe tastes great served on top of…
- sweet potato noodles or sliced sweet potatoes
- regular pasta
- quinoa gluten-free pasta
- a baked potato
Please make this, tell me if you like it, and hashtag #perchancetocook 🙂
Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions, (1 onion)
- 1 cup diced carrots, (2 carrots)
- 2 Tbs diced garlic, (5-6 cloves)
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground bison, (if you don't have bison, use beef)
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 ½ tsp dried basil, divided
- 2 ½ tsp dried oregano, divided
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
- 4 Tbs tomato paste
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, (Pomi is my favorite)
- 3 cups strained tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbs honey
- In a large pot, add the olive oil, diced onion and diced carrots and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Then, add the diced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes.
- Next, add the ground beef, ground bison, and ground pork to the pan and mix. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 2 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried oregano, and 1 tsp dried thyme to the meat mixture and mix. Cook until the meat is browned and fragrant, about 12-15 minutes.
- Add 4 Tbs of tomato paste and mix it into the meat. Cook for about 4 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the seasoned pumpkin mixture to the meat, mix and let cook for 2 minutes.
- Next, add the chopped tomatoes, strained tomatoes, and water to the pot. Mix and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 Tbs honey, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ½ tsp dried basil to the pot, mix and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.
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