My kids (ages 4-8) named this one. They're not fans of Italian-style marinara meat sauce, so I decided to try something completely different. It was a success.
This has a very complex, rich flavor. If you don't like fennel, feel free to leave it out.
The recipe can be gluten-free and/or grainless, depending on the starch chosen to serve with the sauce.
1 lb. ground beef (or meat of your choice)
1/2 sweet bell pepper, diced (I used orange, but yellow or red would work also)
1 tsp crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
2 Tbsp onion (I used freeze-dried red onion)
1.5 to 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi canned tomatoes, about half of a 26+ oz container)
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground yellow mustard (dry)
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp sea salt
Scant 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds (I ground them in a coffee grinder I keep for herbs and spices, but you could just slightly crush them)
1 Tbsp dried parsely (or 1-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsely)
1/4 cup water or broth (I used 4 cubes frozen bone broth from my recipe here) (Note: for excitotoxin-limited diets, use water or homemade broth cooked only briefly)
Cooked pasta, rice, spaghetti squash, grain or other starch of your choice.
Brown ground beef on stovetop. (I used a cast-iron pan.) Drain fat if desired. When meat is not quite done, add bell pepper, garlic and onion to brown with meat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are soft and flavors are melded, about 10-30 minutes. Add more or less liquid as needed.
Serve over pasta, rice, spaghetti squash, grain or starch of your choice. I used 12 oz. of Trader Joe's Organic Vegetable Radiatore cooked with a little safflower oil added to the cooking water.