Tofu Shirataki Bolognese

Traditional spaghetti Bolognese is delicious, but it packs a caloric wallop. This recipe cuts back on the calories without skimping on flavor by relying on extra veggies – pulverized in the food processor, so you can skip some of the chopping – and on extremely low-calorie tofu shirataki noodles, which you’ll find in your grocery store’s refrigerator section.

NOTE: For a spicy sauce, add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes to the pan when you add the vegetables.

TIME: 40 minutes

MAKES: 4 servings

1/2 pound lean ground beef

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup chopped onion (from half a medium onion)

2 ribs celery, roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (28-ounce) jar store-bought spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

2 (8-ounce) packages spaghetti-style tofu shirataki noodles

Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat up, until no pink remains. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Meanwhile, whirl the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and oregano in a food processor until very finely chopped. When the meat is done, add the olive oil to the pan, then add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, then cook and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the meat, the sauce and the cream (if using), and simmer together for another 10 minutes.

(You can make the sauce ahead up to this point, cool, and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.)

When ready to serve, heat the shirataki spaghetti according to package directions, rinsing well. Toss with the sauce, and serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.