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TSL Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese

TSL Tomato-Free Ragu Bolognese
(Image by LM for TSL)

If kids can learn how to make a simple Bolognese sauce, they will never go hungry. It’s pretty easy to cook pasta, but a good sauce is way more useful. (Emeril Lagasse)

Until just over a year ago, when I started on this Autoimmune Protocol caper, I’d been trying to teach the teenager how to make a good Bolognese sauce for quite some time. I reckon’ everybody should have a good Bolognese recipe in their repertoire…

The thing is, a good Bolognese takes time to cook properly. Hours. And, the teenager likes food that is more immediate…

And then, I started the protocol. And my lovely BEST EVER Ragu Bolognese became naught but a memory. Because, a good Bolognese is traditionally made with tomatoes.

Until now

This week is all about Ragu Bolognese here at Casa TSL. And, my personal mission to create an AIP-friendly version of this winter staple. In other words, without tomatoes.

And, I’ve cracked it! In fact, LM says this even trumps the original tomato-based version. Bold words!

In addition to my beetroot and pumpkin-laden Tomato Passata Replacement, this number also has the added benefit of both bone broth and chicken livers. Not only does it taste great, but you can be sure you’re getting some good gut repairing bone broth and a big hit of vitamin A from the liver. It’s a great way to sneak some more liver into your diet if you’re a little funny about offal…

The thing about Bolognese is that, while it does take a long time to come to its full flavour potential, because you’re making a large amount, you have enough for a big crowd. In fact, once you portion it up and pop it in your freezer, there’s easily enough for eight to ten in this recipe.

And, with Bolognese in your freezer, you have a seriously good meal only minutes away.

Spaghetti is love. (Mario Batali)

TSL Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese and Zoodles

Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese on Zoodles
aka green spaghetti!
(Image by LM for TSL)

We served ours over oodles of zoodles (zucchini noodles) this week. But it could just as easily have been placed into lettuce cups with some avocado and coriander (cilantro). Or, served over lightly steamed veggies.

Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese

  • Servings: approx 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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TSL Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese


About 500g grass-fed Beef mince
About 500g happy pork or veal mince
Coconut oil (or fat of choice)
About 225g happy chicken livers
2 x medium onions (chopped)
4 x large cloves of garlic (minced)
About 150g speck (or pancetta), chopped
800mls of my tomato-free passata
500ml beef bone broth (preferably home-made!)
Fresh herbs of choice (basil, parsley or whatever you have to hand)
Salt & Pepper (omit pepper if in elimination stage of AIP)
Sea Vegetables (Optional, but so good for you! I use this one)


  1. Heat your oven to 140°C/275°F
  2. Heat your largest frying pan over a medium heat. Add a generous dollop of coconut oil. Gently fry the onion and garlic until softened – about ten minutes. Give it a stir every now and then.
  3. Add the chopped speck to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a large casserole (my beloved le Creuset holds just over 4 litres).
  4. Add some more coconut oil to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Add the minced beef in batches to brown. I use a wooden fork to break it up in the pan. Add the cooked mince to the casserole. Repeat until all your beef is browned.
  5. Do the same with the pork mince. While the pork mince is cooking, rinse the chicken livers and pat them dry  with a paper towel. Trim off any sinew and chop them into teeny-tiny pieces.
  6. Once the pork is browned and transferred to the casserole, heat a little more coconut oil and briefly brown the chicken livers. Add these to the casserole.
  7. Place the casserole over a direct medium heat and give everything a good stir. Add the tomato-free passata, bone broth and a generous seasoning of good salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the sea vegetables, if you are going to. Go on – dare you!. Stir again and allow to come to a simmer.
  8. Add the chopped leaves of about half a bunch of basil or parsley, stir and place the casserole in the oven (without a lid) for 3 1/2 hours. I give it a stir every hour or so. You should end up with a thick, unctuous meaty sauce with only a teeny bit of liquid.
  9. Check for seasoning and add the remaining half bunch of your herbs.
  10. When the sauce has cooled, divide it up. I use my scales and measure out 250g portions which serves two.

E N J O Y !

This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable