When we were preparing for a bodybuilding competition back in the 2000’s (lol that sounds like caveman days!) we would pour over cookbooks in the evenings after tucking our precious youngsters to bed. Perched atop a stationary bike and chained to a treadmill doing our required amount of cardio we would scour recipes as if they held clues to some buried treasure in some far off land. Our favorites were the ones with photos! Oh how we would drool over those!!
Now you would think that after following such a rigid diet for 4 month straight we would be looking at recipes for chocolate cake, cookies, cinnamon buns and we were but surprisingly, or not, the healthy recipes with lots of colors and flavors from herbs attracted us just the same. This is a recipe that hubby cooked for me after we were done that competition…simmering in a skillet as it reduced filling the house with all its yummy aroma, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! It can be made with or without meat protein, he just adds a bit less on the veggie side if making it with meat otherwise you will need a very large skillet. I don’t think 4 months of deprivation is required to enjoy this one!
- 1-2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 1/4 – 1/3 c Olive Oil, Evolution makes a garlic and a basil olive oil which are perfect for this recipe!
- 2 large Carrots, grated
- 1 large Red Onion, diced
- 1 c Celery, diced
- 1 large can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp dried Oregano and Basil, if using fresh add more
- 1 small can Tomato Paste or Pizza Sauce
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 c Red Wine
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 c Milk
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Set skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Toss in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, saute for several minutes until the harder veggies are softening up. Add the canned tomatoes, herbs and meat if using and mix to blend. (meat should be cooked in a separate pan, drain fat off if necessary) Add the wine and Worcestershire sauce stirring to combine. And finally mix the Cornstarch into the milk then add immediately to the sauce mixing thoroughly. Let simmer on low, stirring occasionally to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.
Serve with Rotini el dente Pasta and a generous grating of fresh Parmesan Cheese