What is it about a meaty bolognese sauce that makes it so much more than the sum of its parts. A huge thanks to those first Bologn-ites (?) that thought to slow simmer a pot of carrots, beef and some tomato paste and serve it over thick noodley pasta. I mean…genius.
There are so many good things to say about this sauce. It’s fairly easy, you usually have most of the ingredients right in your fridge or pantry, it’s hearty, it pairs well with friends and red wine (a prerequisite I look for in any dish really). So well in fact, that when I made it for a friend this past weekend I was too busy chatting and carrying on that I simply forgot to bring my camera into the mix. Sorry I only have one picture for you folks, but what I lack in photos this week I’ll make up for with detailed instructions.
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 T butter
2 cups grated carrot (2 large carrots)
1 1/2 cups grated onion (2-3 medium onions)
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal
2 T dried oregano
2 T dried basil
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
5 cloves minced garlic
2 cups red wine
2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Wide pasta such as tagliatelle or linguini
To begin, heat the oil and butter in a large pot. Add the carrots and onion and sweat for 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. It’s crucial to season each step of the way so you’re not left dumping in loads of S&P at the end of the cooking process. Make a well in the carrot/onion mixture to make room for all the meat. Add the meat and stir to incorporate and brown. Season with S&P.
Once the meat has browned add in the tomato paste, cooking it for a few minutes to cook out the tin taste. Add herbs and stir. Add garlic, stir. Let these ingredients marry for a bit and then add the red wine. Cook for another minute or two. Next add the Worcestershire and tomatoes. Break down the tomatoes a bit with your spoon. Stir, incorporate, cook a bit longer. Add cream, stir and let simmer for as long of a time you have – but at least 30-45 minutes (you could let it simmer all afternoon if you have the time!).
And there you have it, a heavenly, meaty bolognese. Incorporate with the pasta when you’re ready to serve and be sure you have some good parmigiano reggiano on hand when you’re ready to dig in!