mh_1079_spaghetti_bolognese_prev_vx-2Y’all, I am obsessed with bolognese sauce!  I have no idea when it started, but my mission on our trip this summer to Italy was to try as many authentic bolognese sauces as possible.  I probably tried 8 different sauces in Italy and was determined to make my own when we returned. 

Did you know:

  • Bolognese is thought to have originated in the 1800s in Bologna, Italy.
  • Bolognese is not a real “red sauce” recipe that many are used to.  It is more of a meat/vegetable sauce. 
  • Spaghetti Bolognese is not recognized by the locals of Bologna.

The first thing I did was google “authentic bolognese recipe”.  I found a great recipe on foodnouveau.com. I have made this recipe many times and really think this is as good as most of the sauces I had in Italy. 

Here are the reasons why YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE!!!

  • It’s easy to make (the worst part is it having to simmer for 4 hours).
  • Adults and kids love this recipe!
  • It’s sophisticated.
  • It is so easy to prepare as a freezer meal. 
  • It’s the perfect recipe to make when having guests over for dinner.
  • It’s not crazy expensive!

I have made this recipe a few times for my freezer meal club.  I use my large pot and can triple or quadruple the recipe.  When I make a large amount of this recipe, I let it cool and then freeze it flat in ziplock freezer bags.  I love the convenience of grabbing a bag at 6 PM in the evening, throwing it on the stove and heating it up.  It is so easy and tastes so good.  I HIGHLY recommend using your food processor for chopping your veggies.  My mom bought be a NINJA for my birthday.  It reduces 99% of my prep time!

Bolognese Sauce Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup butter
1 large yellow onion, finely and evenly diced
4 small (or 2 very large) carrots finely diced
4 stalks celery heart (or 2 large celery stalks) finely diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely diced (or 6 teaspoons minced garlic). I use the minced because it’s easier!
4.0 – 4.5 oz diced pancetta (¼-inch cubes)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2.5 lb lean ground meat (blend beef, turkey) You can also use veal or pork.  I use half turkey, half beef.
1 cup dry white wine (use an inexpensive brand)
2 cups milk
1 28-oz  can whole San Marzano tomatoes, diced (both the liquid and the tomatoes)
1 cup beef stock 

Directions:

Step 1:  Dice your veggies (onion, carrot, celery).  Use a food processor if possible!!! Otherwise use a hand chopper or dice the veggies thinly yourself. img_0033-2

Step 2:  Heat the butter and the oil together in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the saucepan is hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a good pinch of salt (about ½ tsp) and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the diced pancetta and cook for a further 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened and pancetta is golden.

Step 3:  Increase the heat to high and add the meat a third at a time, stirring and breaking lumps with a spoon between each addition. Adding the meat gradually allows its liquid to evaporate – which is key if you want to brown your meat and not boil it. After the last addition, when no pink can be spotted in the meat and no lumps remain, set a timer to 15 minutes. You want your meat to caramelize and even become crispy in spots. More liquids will evaporate and flavors will concentrate. You want golden bits of meat to stick to the bottom of your pan, which will be deglazed later. Watch over your pan as you don’t want the meat to burn. When you see some serious caramelization action happening, lower heat to medium to reach the end of the 15-minute sautéing time (around 8-9 minutes).picmonkey-image

Step 4:  Over medium heat, pour the white wine into the sauce pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Push the meat all around to make sure you scrape it all off. By the time you’re finished, the wine will be evaporated (2-3 minutes). Be careful not to let the meat stick again (lower the heat if necessary).

Step 5:  Add milk, diced tomatoes and their liquid, beef stock, 1 tsp salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to the lowest heat and let simmer very slowly, half-covered, for 4 hours. Stir once in a while. If your sauce starts sticking before the end of your cooking time, lower the heat (if possible) and/or add a bit of stock or water. In the end, the sauce should be thick, more oil- than water-based and thick like oatmeal. Adjust the seasoning one last time – don’t be afraid of adding more salt (tasting each time you add some), it is this recipe’s key seasoning.

To Serve:  Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Serve over your favorite type of pasta!

To Freeze:  Let sauce cool and then scoop into Ziplock bags and lay flat.  When you want to use, heat up on stove top and serve over noodles. 

I will say that several people have asked for the recipe after I made this for them!!!

img_0724My question for you, do you think you would like this recipe?

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