It seems that carbs are having their moment so I thought it would be fun to share our bolognese recipe. Bolognese is simple to prepare and there are only a few ingredients needed, most of which you can pull from the pantry.
How to make the best bolognese
- start with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and butter and when it sizzles, add chopped onion.
- add salt to get the onion to sweat a little and then add a few cloves (or more if you really like garlic) to the pan.
- cook the garlic for minute or so being careful not to burn in.
- add meat or white beans if you’d like and cook until meat is no longer pink.
- add wine and milk and simmer until reduced slightly, about a half hour.
- add tomatoes and simmer the mixture for several hours.
- meanwhile you can get the pasta going.
- when the pasta is ready, add a little butter or olive oil and a little more salt.
- add the meat sauce and garnish with basil and parmesan.
The secret to yummy bolognese is to simmer, simmer, simmer, and don’t boil. Three hours is what’s recommended.
Kids and adults will enjoy this recipe and if you’d like to omit the meat you can try substituting white beans. As for the wine, I assume that most of us are well stocked at the moment, ha. If not pick up an inexpensive bottle of red next time you go to the store. Wine adds wonderful flavor to cooking (minus the alcohol). Sometimes if we purchase a bottle of wine we don’t care it’s saved as ‘cooking wine’ which means it will stay in the refrigerator and used for cooking.
Traditionally bolognese is made with a thick, long noodle like fettuccine. Today I’m going tubular :) You may substitute gluten free pasta if you’d like. Pasta made from pure durum wheat is probably healthier than the more processed variety but it’s still pasta. Bread and pasta are similar carbs and 1/2 cup of cooked pasta has about the same amount of calories and carbs as a slice of bread. When I serve pasta I always have veggie sides and a salad.
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This recipe is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. Make sure to allow for your sauce to simmer for three hours.
- 2 pounds Beef or a combination of pork and beef
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra olive oil for pasta)
- 1 medium onion, sliced or diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tsp salt (plus extra salt for pasta)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup red wine (you can also use white)
- 1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
- 28oz can (Italian) plum tomatoes (with juice)
- 1 1/2 lbs pasta (for bolognese use either a flat, long noodle such as fettuccini, or a short tube variety like rigatoni
- parmesan cheese, torn basil or parsley for garnish
In a saucepan, add butter and olive oil.
Add onion, salt, and saute gently until translucent.
Add garlic and cook for about two minutes, until fragrant and make sure not to burn.
Add meat and cook until done.
Add wine and milk (you may omit the milk and use all wine) and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add tomatoes. Use a spoon to smash the tomates into the sauce.
Simmer for 3 hours adding a splash of water if needed.
When the sauce is almost ready, cook your pasta. I usually add a couple tsp salt when the water is almost ready to boil. When the pasta is done pour in a colander reserving at least 2 tbsp pasta water. Do not rinse your pasta.
Drizzle pasta with a couple tsp of olive oil and a little more salt, give it a gentle stir and top with meat sauce.
Add parmesan cheese and garnish, serve.
Bolognese is a hearty meal that everyone will enjoy. You can substitute white beans for meat if you’d like and omit the cheese and milk if you are sensitive to dairy.