Tomatoes are in season!


If you’re growing them, chances are you have so many by now, you don’t even know what to do with them. You probably don’t have enough friends, neighbors and or co-workers to place all of your babies in good and loving families.

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And if you’re not growing them yourself, then you can buy them at your local farmers market for a ridiculously low price.

In fact, they usually sell them by the [very large] bucket at this time of year.

While the most obvious thing to do with that many tomatoes would be to can them, I thought hey, why not make a delicious Bolognese Sauce instead?

Spaghetti sauce made entirely with fresh tomatoes! It doesn’t get much better than this, let me tell you!

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Ultimately, it does involve a little bit more work than opening a couple of cans of tomatoes (which you can still totally do if you decide to make this recipe when tomatoes are NOT in season OR if you don’t really want to be bothered peeling a few dozen fresh tomatoes) but the final result and knowing that you created this dish totally from scratch is so incredibly rewarding, it makes it totally worth your while.

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Plus, peeling tomatoes isn’t that hard, really… Here’s how it goes:

  • Carve a shallow X at the bottom of each tomato.
  • Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water, no more than 3 or 4 at a time, and leave them in there for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove the blanched tomatoes to a cutting board (or ice water bath) and allow them to cool for a few minutes, then gently pull away the skin starting at the points created by the X. It should come off super easily.

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Once your tomatoes are good and peeled, the rest of the process is fairly simple:

  • Sear the meat until it’s beautiful and nice and golden brown on all sides. I like to use stew cubes because I like my sauce to contain large, chunky pieces of super tender meat, but you can very well use ground beef instead, if you prefer.
  • Cut the peeled tomatoes in quarters, remove the “stems” then cut the wedges into smaller chunks.
  • Add the tomatoes to the meat, plus the water, seasoning and bay leaves, stir well and bring to a slow simmer.
  • After that, you’re pretty much done. Just let your sauce simmer away for a very loooooong time. Oh, and you might want to stir from time to time and get a good whiff at every occasion you get.

Rutabaga Pasta | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

When your sauce is ready, it’s time to work on your “pasta”. I just recently discovered that spiralized rutabaga makes the BEST pasta ever.

Both the flavor AND the texture work extremely well with robust sauces such as this Bolognese.

Just make sure that, when you buy your rutabaga with this particular purpose in mind, you pick the smallest ones of the lot, as they will be a lot easier to spiralize. Plus, they will give you continuous strands, where as the bigger ones you would probably have to cut into smaller pieces and you wouldn’t be getting the same long noodle effect.

Also, rutabaga being a rather firm vegetable, you might not be able to spiralize them the conventional way, and by that I mean with the help of the handle. You’re probably gonna have to spin in by hand, so be extra careful not to cut your fingers, especially when you get towards the end (who, me? NOOOO, I most certainly did not do that…)

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And there you have it: “Spaghetti” fit for a King.

All in all, rutabaga pasta might represent bit more work than throwing a bunch of dried noodles in a pot of boiling water, but they will reward you with an experience that’s simply unparalleled. Everyone I know who has tried them absolutely LOVED them.

Personally, I now even prefer them to the real thing. Seriously.

Take my word for it,  you NEED to give them a try!


Yield: Serves 4-6

NF based on 1 of 6 servings, not incl. cooking fat



  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 950g grassfed stew beef cubes
  • 12-14 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 2 large (794g) cans diced tomatoes)
  • 6-7 fresh tomatoes, peeled, diced and pureed in a food processor (or 1 large (794g) can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 4-6 small rutabagas, spiralized


    If using fresh tomatoes:
  1. In a large stockpot, bring about 12-14 cups of water to a roaring boil.
  2. Meanwhile, using a sharp paring knife, carve a shallow X at the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water, no more than 3 or 4 at a time, and leave them in there for about 30 seconds.
  4. Remove the blanched tomatoes to a cutting board and allow them to cool for a few minutes, until you can safely handle them (you could also remove them to a bath of icy cold water to speed up the process). Gently pull away the skin starting at the points created by the X. It should come off super easily.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in quarters, remove the “stems” then cut your tomatoes into smaller chunks. If using only fresh tomatoes, grab the equivalent of 6 or 7 tomatoes and puree them in the food processor. Set that aside while you work on the meat.
  6. Heat some coconut oil, or lard, or ghee in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the pieces of meat in a single layer, taking extra care to leave a good amount of space between them so that air has a chance to circulate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear the pieces of meat until they get nice and golden brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (you might have to work in several batches and add fat as needed to prevent the bottom of the saucepan from drying out).
  7. Once all the pieces of meat have been browned and removed to a plate, lower the heat to medium, add the onions, celery and garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the meat back, throw the tomatoes in (fresh or canned), as well as the water, seasoning and bay leaves; stir well and bring to a simmer.
  9. Lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer, partly covered, for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  10. When your sauce is ready to serve, place the spiralized rutabaga in a steaming basket, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and steam over boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until “al dente”. Alternatively, you can cook them briefly in a little bit of salted boiling water. I’m pretty sure that the microwave would work perfectly fine, too.
  11. Ladle sauce generously over the cooked “pasta” and serve piping hot.
  12. This sauce tastes even better the next day, or even the day after, so don't hesitate to make it ahead of time. It will also freeze very well, so why not make a double batch and save some for later?

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Pasta Alla Bolognese | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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  1. says

    Fresh tomatoes… it just does not get any better…
    sadly I was working entirely too hard at the early part of this summer to even conceive of planting a veggie garden (think 40 hours a week with a 2 hour commute each day!) and in a very physical job too boot…… and then there is laundry, housework, cleaning….

    Last year, i had tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, fresh herbs…. I was a student during the early planting season. this year my garden was a wasteland of weeds – simply because of my job!.. fortunately I changed jobs in July, and I now work 3 days a week.
    Next year I WILL be able to have a garden…I will have the time

    • says

      I so wish I had time for a garden, but unfortunately, I choose to make blogging my priority, so I purchase my tomatoes from people who made gardening theirs…

      I really wish I could afford to grow a few veggies, though, but sadly, the only thing I seem to be able to grow these days is weeds! :(

      And I so hear you on the 40 hour job and 2 hour commute per day. I’m in that very same boat. I do envy you your very physical job, though. I get to sit on my butt all day. Hate that!

  2. says

    That simply looks to die for. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find rutabaga here or turnips either for that matter, so still need to find something to use. I know I can make them from zucchini too but it wouldn’t be the same I think. I have a whole new found love for cauliflower already for ‘rice’, ‘couscous’ and puree dishes but need to get something to use for ‘noodles’… Ofcourse I am thinking this bolognese would taste awesome with cauliflower puree too!

    • says

      Oh, it would be awesome with cauliflower mash indeed, but I really hope for you that you do end up finding the rutabaga. I’m telling you, the two of them are just meant to be together. As for zucchini, I think it would work too, but I find it’s probably a bit too delicate to pair well with such a robust sauce… at least that’s what I think.

  3. jenn says

    Hi there,
    That looks delicious but the photos with the pasta looks like pasta and not the rutabaga pasta. It would be great if you could have posted a photo of what the final product looks like. Also maybe more instructions on how to “spin rutabaga by hand”.

  4. says

    Bolognese is my absolute favourite dish! It’s my stranded-on-an-island/can-only-eat-one-thing-for-an-entire-year dish. But, I’ve always used tomato sauce out of a jar … I know!! Will definitely have to give this recipe a go :)
    P.S. Just discovered your blog and I’m never leaving!! x

    • says

      Thank you Ash. I don’t really use the information myself anymore, but I understand that a lot of people really like/need to have access to it, so I don’t mind taking an extra couple of minutes to add it all up.

      Plus, it helps me get some sort of a notion of what goes into my body in terms of calories and macros.

      Good to hear that you appreciate the effort and thanks for letting me know! 😀

  5. Susan says

    Thank you for sharing the method for peeling tomatoes. The X in the bottom would make it much easier than it’s ever been for me before.

  6. says

    Sonie, you are definitely the queen of faux pasta.
    I mean, you can’t really tell the difference between regular wheat spaghetti and your rutabaga ones.
    The resemblance is insane. And I’ll bet that the taste is even better.

    Ok, I’m off now, I need to buy me a spiralizer!

    • says

      Oh, you so won’t regret that purchase, Mike. And just you wait until you tasted the rutabaga pasta. I’m sure you’ll never want to go back to the tasteless and boring “real thing”.

      This is SO much better.

      And thank you so much for your kind words, my friend. The queen of faux pasta. I like the sound of that! 😀

      • says

        I have the spiralizer now. YAY! I can already tell I’m going to try spiralizing everything (including my fingers..ouch!)

        Oh btw, sorry to have misspelled your name. Sonie? Where did that came from? :(

        • says

          Typo, don’t sweat it, dearest.

          What’s funny is friends and family used to call me that when I was a kid… can’t say I was ever too fond of that nickname, though. Especially not as a teenager. 😉

          Hey, have fun with the spiralizer (and no, one can’t spiralize cauliflower, unfortunately…)

  7. Sarah says

    How are you cooking the rutabaga? It looks like you are boiling it in the picture. How long do you boil it?


  8. Iris says

    I just made this tonight, and it is SOOOOO fantastic! Bolognese is my ultimate favorite sauce, and this hits the spot. I’m so glad I found this recipe, and I’m looking forward to my leftovers for dinner tomorrow and the next day. 😀 Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Stephanie says

    Just discovered your blog and made this. It was great! And still good left over for lunch the next day. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Christine says

    First off – I LOVE your web site! I recently bought the Paderno Spiralizer and am really enjoying it. Tonight, I tried the rutabaga “pasta,” but I struggled getting it to spiralize and then to spiralize properly. It just cut these funny short spirals that didn’t even break apart into strands.

    I was able to produce enough strands for one portion – and it was fabulous with the Bolognese, but so much was wasted and it was so hard to do!

    What do you think I was doing wrong?

    I would like to do this again – but do it right! :-)


    • says

      Did you cut your rutabaga at all before to spiralize it, Christine? To get beautiful long strands, you have to make sure that the vegetable you use in the first place is nice and doesn’t break across the blades. It has to cover it completely so it can run continuously without breaking up into tiny little pieces. Also too, rutabaga is such a firm vegetable that using the handle won’t really work. You have to spin it with your hand.

      Hope this helps…

      • Christine says

        Thank you for the quick reply, Sonia!

        My Rutabaga was very large – the grocer didn’t really have anything much smaller on the day I shopped. I tried cutting it into thirds, but I could not get my Henkel 8″ Chef’s knife even part way through it. I was lucky to get the knife back out :-) I even wore my Kapoosh cut resistant glove while try to slicing this thing! I think I need to step up to the woven stainless mail glove LOL

        Okay – so I will shop around for much smaller Rutabagas.

        Was wondering if it might help to boil or microwave the larger rutabaga before attempting to cut it into smaller pieces?

        Thanks again for your help!


        • says

          I think the most efficient way to cut large, firm vegetables such as rutabaga is not trying to cut right across with the blade flat against them, but rather to go with the tip of your knife first and to go around the vegetable in a circular motion. It’s kind of hard to explain. Maybe I should do a video!

          Better yet, stick with the smaller veggies. They always taste much better anyway! 😉

          And it is indeed because you cut your turnip that you weren’t able to get the long strands. The vegetable must be in constant contact with the blade for long strands to be made. Next time you spiralize something, observe the blade and how it hits the vegetable as it spins, you’ll see what I mean.

          LOL. Why do I get the feeling that I wasn’t of much help at all? I was probably as clear as a rock. Sorry about that!

  11. Jenn says

    The bolognese tasted great! My meat didn’t fall apart like yours seemed to have in the photo but it was still really tender and had great flavor. The rutabaga on the other hand, was a slight fail but I blame my cheapo spiralizer. When I moved I gave away my old awesome one and purchased what I thought would be an even more durable one. Nope, fail. The little spaghetti teeth bent and broke yesterday. :( Will def attempt rutabaga again when my replacement comes in the mail!

    • says

      HAHA! I’ll admit that rutabaga is a little bit harder to spiralize and may require the use of a higher hand model… someone told me once that microwaving the rutabaga for a couple of minutes prior to spiralizing it really helped in making the job easier, but I’ve yet to try it. Might be worth a shot, for your next attempt! 😉

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