Organic Tomato Bolognese

People often say to me that looks really delicious but I don’t have the time to cook like that or that will take me too long to make.  I truly believe that with a little organization, meal prep and consistency, we can all get there.  Trust me, as a very busy business owner, professional chef and managing two children’s very busy schedules, I get that it can be absolutely overwhelming.  I feel overwhelmed myself but I have specific daily tools that have really helped me such as a weekly schedule of what’s happening in my calendar, a free grocery app on my phone that helps me organize my weekly grocery shop list and then some meal planning.  I set one day out of the week to grocery shop and vaguely plan menu “ideas” and then I just commit to it.  There are some weeks I don’t even have time to plan menu ideas but because my fridge is organized and stocked with fresh real food, there is always something to quickly assemble and get on the table.

My hope is that these tips can help you get there too because when we take the time to sit down for a meal, slow down, connect with our family and make real food a priority everything just gets better.  The difference is startling and leaves me with more mental and physical energy for my job, mothering as well as for fitness.  We can all get there, it just requires a little focus and discipline.

Now onto this delicious easy recipe!!  This is super easy to do and especially delicious this time of year because it’s tomato season!!  My kids literally squeal over this and ask for it at least one a week.  It also can be made in larger batches and frozen so that you can get several meals out of it.  I love the versatility of it as it can accommodate varying diets.  For example,  I always put the kids over organic gluten free tinkyada pasta penne or spaghetti but sometimes for myself I will put this over sautéed seasonal zucchini ( another great way to use up that overloading seasonal produce this time of year ). Whatever way you like it, this is super easy to do and will get dinner on the table fast.  This can also be adapted to be vegetarian/vegan by simply omitting the meat which would be delicious as well.


Organic Tomato Bolognese

2 cans organic crushed tomatoes 28.2 oz or 9 large fresh organic seasonal tomatoes washed and cored

1 organic white onion washed, peeled and diced

2 cloves organic fresh garlic peeled and minced

2 organic dried bay leaves

1 tsp organic dried oregano

1 tsp organic dried basil or fresh basil can be used as well

1 tsp dried organic red pepper flakes ( optional ) sometimes I omitt this for kids as it makes the sauce slightly spicy

1 lb organic grass fed ground beef or ground turkey can be used

2 tbs organic olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs organic tomato paste

2 cups of water ( I generally rinse the cans of crushed tomatoes  and then add the water to the sauce so there is zero waste ) ** you will need to add the water though if using fresh tomatoes


If using fresh tomatoes, you will need a high speed blender.  Wash and core the tomatoes then slice with a knife into smaller pieces.  Add to your blender until they are completely crushed.  Set aside briefly.

Take a large stock pot and add olive oil then place the heat on your stove top to medium.  Once hot, add oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and minced onion.  Cook approx. 8 minutes till onions are translucent then add garlic.  Cook another 2 minutes sautéing quickly so the garlic does not burn.  Now add ground beef or ground turkey and season with sea salt and black pepper and continue to cook approx. 8-10 minutes till the meat is fully cooked.  Now add freshly crushed tomatoes or the two cans of crushed tomatoes, bay leaves along with the tomato paste.  Then add water and increase the heat on your stove top to high and bring the sauce to a quick boil stirring frequently.  Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce immediately to a low heat and let simmer with the top off the pot for approx. 30 minutes.  The liquid or volume of the sauce will reduce and thicken which is what you want.  Your sauce is ready!

The sauce can be served immediately or placed in airtight containers and be frozen once cooled for future use.  Optimally, this sauce gets better and better as the flavors come together so it can be made a day ahead then served the next day.  It is still fabulous the day of though and especially delicious with copious amounts of Parmesan Reggiano.    Serve over your favorite pasta or zucchini zoodles and dinner is served!

Xoxo -Chef Emery

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