Apr 28, 2008

My favorite bolognese

My favorite bolognese, or meat sauce, is this Ragu Alla Bolognese from Cooking Light. The recipe was published in 2002 and since then, I've modified (and doubled) the recipe to my own (and Marc's) preferences. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes.

Our Favorite Bolognese
Serves 14 to 16 (Freeze the leftover sauce in individual or meal size portions.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrot (Note: I like to puree the onion, celery and carrot in a food processor for a finer texture in the sauce.)
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-4 bay leaves
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans tomato puree
1 1/2 cups whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
4 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cover and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture from pan.

2. Add beef to pan; cook over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add wine, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture, broth, and tomato puree; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (Note: I've been known to let this simmer for four hours or more. It concentrates the flavor and makes the beef super tender. Just make sure the top level of the liquid never goes below the level of the meat and veggies.)

3. Stir in milk, half and half or cream, and minced parsley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes (or more). Discard bay leaves.

4. Serve with your favorite pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Anonymous said...

I had 2 pounds of ground beef in my fridge and no plans for it before it went bad, so I tried this recipe last night. Not sure what I did wrong, but it was like soup! Hubby had a good idea to add 2 cans of tomato paste and it thickened right up into a nice sauce. It smelled yummy simmering on the stove. We'll eat it tonight... can't wait! Thanks for posting the recipe!

Sincerely Yours said...

Sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it. Also, I made the cookie monster cupcakes for my son's birthday and he loved them. Thanks for the cute idea!

Chief Family Officer said...

@aande - I hope you enjoyed the sauce tonight! The tomato paste was an excellent idea - I guess I usually simmer it until it's thick (I simmer for hours, I guess mine thickens naturally that way). Hope it was delicious!

@sincerely yours - I am so glad the cupcakes turned out! Did you post pictures? I'm heading over to check :)