Bolognese RecipeBolognese Sauce
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground beef
8 oz pancetta, small diced
2 cups finely diced onions (approximately 3–4 medium-sized onions)
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine (such as a Chianti or Barolo)
4 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta – rigatoni
1 large 8–10-quart saucepan
large stirring spoon
Every chef and home cook in Italy – and probably the world over – has their own version of this sauce. This recipe mixes the traditional beef with veal and a bit more pancetta to round out the meaty texture and flavors. Soon, the aromas that fill your kitchen will tell you that the red wine, meat and tomatoes have become “Bolognese” – enjoy!
In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and pancetta. Cook for 3–5 minutes until pancetta begins to brown. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic; stir well. Cook vegetables with pancetta until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent, about 8–10 minutes. It’s fine if the onions start to turn a golden color – if the onions start to burn, lower the heat to medium. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for about 5 minutes so that all the vegetables and tomato paste have mixed together.
Turn heat to high and add all of the meat and sprinkle with salt. Let meat rest on the bottom of the saucepan for 3 minutes to allow it to start to brown. Stir the meat and continue cooking until all of the meat has been browned and it has released its juices, about 10 minutes.
Add the dry red wine and stir. Let the meat and wine come to a boil. Reduce heat to low medium and let simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano and stir well.
Let the sauce cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (every 15 minutes). After the 1 1/2 hours, the total liquid in the sauce will have reduced almost by half; if it has reduced by more than half, add one cup of water. The Bolognese should now be a well-blended sauce and ready to eat.
Of course you need some pasta to go with the sauce and rigatoni is traditional. Enjoy!