Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekend Bolognese Sauce (Updated!)

I revisited this recipe on a rainy Frankenstorm weekend and the updates I made were definitely worth re-posting. They took this bolognese from pretty tasty to amazing! Restaurant-worthy! I want to bathe in it! Maybe that's going a tad too far.... but you'll have to taste it to see. The main changes involved using pancetta instead of bacon and mild italian sausage instead of pork. I also added some onion powder. I've written in the updates below and I highly recommend you make this as soon as possible (and, maybe invite me to dinner?)

I have not always gotten along with the figurative old Italian grandmothers in the kitchen. Probably because of my habit of “cheesing the fish” (to great success as shown in this Parmesan Tilapia recipe) which is a cardinal sin in Italian cuisine. However, I think this Bolognese recipe will win them back over to my side. It took a full day of cooking, but it was worth it. You could make this meal in an hour or two, but cooking it longer lets the flavors really develop. I started this meal around noon, and we ate at 6:30, so it’s definitely a weekend recipe. Make sure to use a hearty enough pasta to go with this sauce—spaghetti just doesn’t work. Pappardelle is ideal if you can find it. I couldn’t so we used Campanelle, which was really good as well. I found this recipe at, but there are tons out there.

4 oz diced pancetta
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
2 large carrots (finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb italian ground sausage
1 cup beef consommé/broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup whole milk or cream

Start by chopping up the veggies and getting your bacon ready. Heat up the oil and butter in your Dutch oven and then add in the onion, carrots and garlic. This is also where you’d toss in your pancetta. Cook until the onions are translucent (8-10 minutes).

Next, add in the beef and sausage. Break it apart and mix as you cook, until it’s all crumbled and all the pinkness is gone. Now add in the wine and broth. The original recipe called for consomm√©, but I couldn’t find any and just used broth. Not sure there’s a big difference for this recipe. Turn the heat up and bring the liquid to a boil, cooking until most of it has evaporated. It took about 12-15 minutes for me. Turn it down to a simmer and add in all your seasonings, stirring well. Let it cook for 20 minutes to let the spices get all friendly with the meat.

After 20 minutes, pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the tomato paste. Stir it in well, and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiled, turn it back down to a simmer. Now the real cooking begins. Simmer for anywhere from 2-4 hours, partially covered. We left ours on for 4 hours, and the longer you can let it cook the better. I actually think that if you could delay gratification even longer, it’d be worth it. About ten minutes before you’re set to eat, add in one cup of milk or cream and stir it in (I recommend cream, it's worth it). Serve over a sturdy pasta with Parmesan Reggiano on top. Parmesan Reggiano is the way to go (not just parmesan)—it has such a sharp flavor that if you get just regular Parmesan you’ll be missing out. Try this recipe. Try it right now. 

(Click for printable recipe)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Bolognese sauce recipe. It is always nice to have a few stable sauce recipes around.