Bolognese Pasta Sauce

This is another wonderful recipe from my husband's Aunt Savina. We have been making this sauce for a good 5+ years and it never fails to disappoint. I've altered it somewhat to include less meat and it still tastes just as fabulous! It is definitely our favorite sauce to eat with pasta because it is so full of flavor as well as being filled with yummy veggies (and you'd never even really know!).

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Bolognese Pasta Sauce

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup each chopped carrots, celery, and onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
3/4 cup quinoa, previously soaked and cooked
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry basil
1 teaspoon oregano
black pepper, to taste
3 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water

Over medium-low heat, saute carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in previously cooked quinoa, salt, basil, oregano, and black pepper. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste mixed with water. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings and serve over whole grain pasta (we use brown rice pasta). 

*To soak and cook quinoa: 8+ hours before, soak 3/4 cup quinoa in 3/4 cup water and 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice. Let stand on counter. When ready to prepare, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil and add in soaked quinoa mixture. Place lid on top and simmer until liquid is absorbed.
*The original recipe calls for 1 to 2 pounds of ground beef - so feel free to use that amount and remove the quinoa - the directions are the same.