By Angelika Hanna
Inspired by Ina Garten’s ‘Weeknight Bolognese’, I made this delicious bolognese, and I can truly say, that it is comfort food at a high level; just the right meal on a cold winter day.
I adjusted Ina’s recipe slightly in that I used milk instead of heavy cream in my meat sauce, and I incorporated pancetta. I left out the garlic as my meat sauce is spiced up with enough other flavorful ingredients. When I googled bolognese recipes, I found many different versions; so here is my own adapted bolognese.
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: Approx. 2 hrs
Total Time: Approx. 2 hrs 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food
For the meat sauce:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4 ounce diced pancetta
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 diced Roma tomatoes
- approx. 2 tbsp tomato paste (depending on the thickness of your sauce)
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3/4 Trafilata al Bronzo (from La Molisana) – I agree with Ina Garden on the little shells or ears as the right type of pasta for a bolognese!
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese (I used Grana Padano), plus extra for serving
Grana Padano is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano but a little less expensive.
- In a large pot, fry the diced pancetta approx. 4 min. over high heat until the pancetta begins to release fat and appears crispy.
- Add vegetable mix: onions, celery, carrot.
- Add spices: oregano, basil, pepper flakes.
- Saute the pancetta-vegetable mix approx. 5-7 min over medium heat, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add ground beef, cook the mix approx. 15 min, stirring to break up the beef chunks into small pieces until beef begins to brown.
- Add salt and black pepper
- Add the wine, milk, diced Roma tomatoes.
- Bring meat sauce to boil, then reduce heat to low.
- At low heat, let meat sauce simmer for approx. 2 hours so that all the flavors combine and blend together, stir occasionally.
- After about hour, check on the consistency of your sauce, add tomato paste to help thickening the sauce.
Cook pasta in a separate pot according to the package directions.
When meat sauce is cooked to be served, incorporate Parmesan cheese. Give it a few stirs to mix in.
Shred some more Parmesan on top of the meal on your plate.
I hope you enjoy your Bolognese as much as I enjoyed mine.