Because the best things in life are simple

It’s Time For Bolognese

Here a bolognese sauce is paired with pasta and meatballs (aka: polpette).
Here a bolognese sauce is paired with pasta and meatballs (aka: polpette).

I’ll admit I made bolognese sauce a couple of times over the summer. But this rich, thick, meaty sauce is usually more appropriate with cooler times.

One way to look forward to the cooler seasons approaching is to think of all the seasonal delicacies you can make. And bolognese should top the list.

Here’s a recipe I adopted from my “Biba’s Taste of Italy” cookbook. It takes a couple of hours to cook but it isn’t very difficult. I chop up the vegetables and the pancetta separately, using a food processor. And feel free to experiment with the meats you use. I always have plenty of ground veal on hand, but if you don’t, you can use just ground beef and ground pork.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp.)
  • Unsalted butter (2 tbsp.)
  • Yellow onions, finely minced (1/4 cup)
  • Carrots, finely minced  (1/4 cup)
  • Celery, finely minced (1/4 cup)
  • Pancetta, finely minced (2-3 ounces)
  • Ground beef (2/3 pound)
  • Ground veal (1/3 pound)
  • Ground pork (1/4 pound)
  • Red wine, medium body such as a Chianti (1/2 cup)
  • Tomato paste (3 tbsp.), diluted in meat broth (see next entry below)
  • Meat broth (3 cups. You can used canned meat broth or even canned chicken broth)
  • Whole milk (1/2 cup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What I did:

Heat the oil and 1 tbsp. of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

When butter foams, add the minced vegetables and minced pancetta.

Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture has a nice golden color (about 5 minutes).

Add the ground meat, raise heat to high, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon while stirring.

When the meat and vegetables have a rich brown color and the bottom of the pan is glazed (about 7-8 minutes) add the wine. Stir until most of the wine has evaporated.

Stir in the diluted tomato paste and season with salt and pepper.

When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover the pan, and simmer for 2 hours. Continue to stir and check the sauce every 10-20 minutes.

The sauce should end up being thick, with an appealing nutty brown color and just slightly liquid. Add a bit more broth or water if the sauce looks dry.

Add the milk, partially cover the pan, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Add the sauce to freshly cooked pasta. This goes wonderful with thick macaroni bands. I usually use the dry pasta made in italy that resemble small bird nests.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

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