Best Zucchini Bolognese Recipe

In 2018, right before Meghan Markle became a royal, we had the chance to talk to her about acting on the show Suits, her diet (she loves french fries!), and her favorite red wine (Tignanello). The part of the conversation that’s really stuck with us? Her secret to a low-carb, “sexy, filthy” meatless pasta sauce we’ve been making on repeat ever since.

It might sound wild, but it really works: Cooking zucchini low and slow for 4-5 hours turns it into a “mush” that’s surprisingly delicious, substantial, and best of all, simple. As Meghan said, “The sauce gets so creamy, you’d swear there’s tons of butter and oil in it, but it’s just zucchini, water and a little bouillon.” We like keeping it as simple as possible, and only added a few basic ingredients like an onion, some Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon juice, but you’re welcome to add other summer-y vegetables like eggplant or tomatoes. We realize we’re being quite bold calling this bolognese, though we swear, it does have meat sauce vibes — feel free to add ground beef, sausage, or steak to bulk it up for dinner. If you do go red meat, try another one of Meghan’s hacks, and add a squeeze of lemon just before serving: “Nobody tastes the lemon, but it really brings out the steak’s flavor,” she said.

Don’t care about the royals and what they do or don’t eat? Totally fair, but don’t let that stop you from trying this pasta hack. Believe us, it’s worth the hype.

Made this viral pasta sauce? Let us know how it went in the comments below.

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Yields:

4

Prep Time:

0

hours

10

mins

Total Time:

4

hours

20

mins

1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil

1


medium white onion, chopped

5


medium zucchini, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

1 c.

freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

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  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in zucchini, water and bouillon cube. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cover pot. Cook for 4 hours, stirring often, until the zucchini is falling apart. (It will be mushy, and that’s good!)
  3. When the sauce is almost ready, bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and add to pot with zucchini.
  4. Add lemon juice, Parmesan, and pepper flakes to pasta and stir well to combine. Serve topped with more Parmesan.

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zucchini bolognese pasta on a yellow background

PHOTO: ERIK BERNSTEIN; FOOD STYLING: ERIKA JOYCE

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