You need to be in my house right now, because the aromas coming from my cozy kitchen are divine. I am preparing my Spaghetti Bolognese, in preparation for my half marathon race tomorrow. But even if I wasn’t running 13.1 miles tomorrow, this meal would hit the spot.
The ingredients are easy and basic. The most important part of this sauce is the simmering time, which needs 2 hours. The greatest thing about this dish is that is gets better after a few days in the fridge.
So when you have a few hours to hang around the house (the weekends are perfect for this), give this recipe a try. It freezes beautifully too, so make it now, serve it later.
I doubt however, that you will be able to prepare this sauce without at least serving up a small portion before chilling the rest for a future meal. Because my household is small, I offer this version. Feel free to double the recipe to serve 6 to 8 people.
As I mentioned in this post, this is not your traditional spaghetti and meat sauce recipe. The tomato ratio is rather small. The addition of beef broth creates a rich, hearty and robust sauce, and the variety of meats lends more richness to the dish.
The traditional recipe calls for 4 types of meat; ground beef, pork, veal and pancetta. It’s lovely for sure, and a real splurge on the calorie/cholesterol charts. I have found that reducing the meats to only 2, either a very lean ground beef or turkey, along with the pancetta in smaller quantities and the elimination of butter for sweating the vegetables still produces a lovely, well rounded sauce. If you want to try the original version (because you just need to have it at least once, I assure you) email me and I will hook you up.
Otherwise, give this a try. Serve it with a lovely red wine of your choice and some crusty bread. A token salad is probably a good idea too. But tonight I’m saying no to the greens. I can’t risk filling up on salad and forgoing my carb loading plan.
I’m smart like that.
Makes about 4 cups of sauce.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef, or ground turkey
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- 1/2 cup milk (you can use whole, skim, half and half; whatever is on hand)
- 1 – 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/4 cup beef stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a 6 to 8 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent. Add ground meats and pancetta to the vegetables; increase heat to high and brown, stirring to avoid meat from sticking together for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the milk; reduce heat and simmer over low heat until milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer 15 minutes. Add the wine and beef stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally until flavors develop and sauce thickens. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
You can opt to add oregano, basil or parsley. All are good. None are necessary. Serve with your favorite noodles and a grating of fresh parmesan.