Simple Bolognese Recipe

It’s lightly snowing outside so I thought it would be the perfect day to share my simple bolognese recipe.  Elevate your weekday dinner with this rich and satisfying dish or serve to guests on the weekend.

traditional bolognese

What is the difference between meat sauce and bolognese?

Traditional meat sauce is usually a simmered tomato-based sauce with ground beef.  Bolognese is made with milk and cream so it’s much creamier.

What is bolognese served with?

Traditionally bolognese is served with egg noodles.  You can also serve bolognese with flat pasta shapes such as papprdelle or fettuccini or tube shapes like penne.

What’s the difference between ragu and bolognese?

The difference between ragu and bolognese is that ragu is made with red wine and tomatoes, while bolognese is prepared with white wine, less tomato, and milk.

What you’ll need to make this dish:

  • pasta
  • 2 pounds meat: a combination of beef, pork and venison.  If you don’t have venison, just use what you have.
  • 20 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • carrots
  • onion
  • 1/2 bottle of red or white wine
  • milk
  • cream
  • butter
  • good quality olive oil

How to prepare traditional bolognese

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in your cooking pot, when it sizzles, add olive oil.  Remember that olive oil has a how burn point so it’s best used as a topper.  That said, after touring an olive farm last summer we learned that ‘high end’ olive oil can take a little more heat.  When you’re shopping look for something that’s in a mid-range price point.  Add onion to the butter and oil, and saute for a few minutes.  Don’t brown, just soften to marry the flavors.  Sprinkle with salt as you saute and then add a carrot or two after a minute or so.  Add meat to pot and stir until brown.  Add wine, simmer for about 15 minutes and then add diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer for another 30 minutes.  Add milk, and simmer for about an hour.  Do not allow to boil.  After an hour or so, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few hours to cool and get the flavors to blend.  When you are ready to serve, add the cream.

Serve with this salad, and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Traditional Beef Bolognese

  • 2 pounds mixture of beef ((veal, pork, beef – or use whatever you have))
  • 2 small onions
  • 32 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 carrots -diced
  • 1/2 bottle of red or white wine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 -6 ounces cream
  • 16 ounces pasta (homemade or fresh is best) (prepare according to manufacturer's instructions.)
  1. Add butter and olive oil to cooking pot

  2. When butter is melted, add onion and carrot. Saute until soft, not browned. Add a couple teaspoons of salt.

  3. Add beef mixture and stir until browned.

  4. Add 1/2 bottle of wine and stir, simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Add diced tomatoes and stir to mix.

  6. Add milk and simmer, don't boil, for about 30 minutes.

  7. Turn off the heat and allow the bolognese to sit for a couple of hours. When you are almost ready to serve, get the pasta cooking. Add the cream to cooled bolognese and heat, don't boil.

  8. When pasta is al dente, drain and reserve a few tablespoons of pasta water. Do not rinse your pasta. Add olive oil and salt to the pasta.

  9. Plate your pasta and add a ladle of bolognese and parmesan cheese if you'd like.

Serve with a fresh salad and glass of wine!  

 

 

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