Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce with Sweet Potato Spaghetti
Recipe type: Gluten free, Grain free, Paleo, Whole30, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
There's nothing more comforting than a slow-cooked Bolognese sauce with sweet potato spaghetti! It's gluten free, paleo, and much more colorful and nutritious than regular spaghetti and meatballs.
For the bolognese sauce:
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
2 shallots or 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium rutabaga, chopped small
  • 10 ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, chopped small
  • 1 pound ground pork, preferably pastured**
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed**
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)*
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry wine vinegar (or balsamic)*
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of allspice
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
For the sweet potato noodles:
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 6-8 medium sweet potatoes (or 1 per person), peeled and spiralized
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. To make the bolognese sauce, pour room temperature water over the dried porcini mushrooms and set them aside to soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Once they've soaked for 20-30 minutes, remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon, rinse them, and chop them finely. If desired, strain the soaking liquid and reserve it for use later or in another recipe.
  2. Heat the ghee and olive oil in a very large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 7-8 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and add the garlic, rutabaga, and both kinds of mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and most of it has bubbled away, about 8 minutes.
  3. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan. If the pan looks very dry, you can add an additional tablespoon of olive oil or ghee at this point. Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until cooked through and no longer pink. Add all the remaining ingredients except the basil (go ahead and add the whole can of tomatoes along with their liquid). Stir thoroughly.
  4. At this point, if you'd like to use your slow cooker, transfer the sauce to slow cooker and cook it on low for 6-8 hours, leaving the lid off for the last hour or so to allow any excess liquid to evaporate. If you'd like to continue cooking on the stovetop, stir in 1½ cups of water (you can use the mushroom soaking water if you'd like) and bring the sauce to a boil. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers and cook, uncovered, for about three hours, adding more water if the sauce starts to look too dry.
  5. Stir in the basil right before serving.
  6. To make the sweet potato noodles, heat the ghee in a very large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the noodles and toss with tongs to coat them with the ghee. Let the noodles cook for about 2 minutes, then add ¼ cup of water and cover the pan. Let the noodles steam, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness. I like mine almost soft, but with a tiny bit of bite left to them. It seems to be a thin margin between too crunchy, just right, and too mushy, so I recommend watching them closely and tasting them often.
  7. Season the noodles with a bit of salt and stir. Serve the noodles hot with the sauce spooned on top, garnished with additional basil if desired.
*If you're not doing a Whole30, you can use 1 cup red wine instead of the vinegars. Add the wine to the meat, stir, and let most of it bubble away before adding the remaining ingredients.

**Looking for a convenient way to get amazing grass-fed meat? ButcherBox delivers curated boxes of grass-fed beef and pastured pork and chicken right to your door. I’m a ButcherBox affiliate because I love their meat and think you will, too! If you’re interested in trying a box, sign up here and they’ll also send you a free pack of paleo bacon.
Recipe by A Calculated Whisk at