The traditional Bolognese sauce originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagnia, a famous region in northern Italy, north of Florence. It is commonly called Ragu Bolognese. There are different versions, just like you will find different versions of tomato sauce and pizza. The Bolognese is always a meat-based sauce, usually veal, with some carrots, onions and tomato sauce. Milk or cream can also be added to give it a more authentic feel. Today, I will share with you my version of the Bolognese sauce. It is quick, easy, delicious and you can double up the recipe to feed a large crowd.
- 1 – 1/2 lbs ground veal
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 chopped tomato (Pomi) or any other brand, about 26 oz
- 1 strained tomato (Pomi) or any other brand, about 26 oz
- 1/2 cup water and more pasta water, if needed
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Flat leave parsley, chopped, to garnish
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (Parmesan cheese)
- 1 lb. Pappardelle pasta
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Serves 4 (hungry) people as a main meal
This recipe takes a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour to prepare, but you can extend the cooking up to 2 hours if you have the time. You will need to add water occasionally, and stir constantly to reduce the sauce. The flavors will be more infused and you will get a richer sauce. However, this recipe is a quicker version for today’s busy lives , and the best part of it, your loved ones will not know the difference.
1) On medium-high heat, in a 6-8 quart stock pan, heat oil, brown pancetta, 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside.
2) There will be some oil left in the pot, add the onions, carrots and garlic and sweat for about 2-3 minutes.
3) Add veal, brown for about 5 minutes by stirring occasionally, then add tomato paste, continue to brown until you get a nice caramelization.
4) Add strained and chopped tomatoes, pancetta, 1/2 cup water, salt & pepper, oregano. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally to avoid the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you feel like the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water. Remember, this is a meat sauce and it is supposed to be thick and not watery, therefore, use your judgement.
5) On another burner, get the water boiling for your pappardelle or whatever pasta you’re using, cook according to package directions.
6) Drain pasta, (save some water if you need it for the sauce) and pour it over the meat sauce. Make sure all the pasta is nicely coated and serve immediately. If you let it sit, the pasta will absorb all the sauce and it will become dry. Have the grated Parmigiano Reggiano at the table for individual use. If you don’t feel comfortable serving it this way, place pasta in bowls and pour sauce over each one. Sprinkle chopped parsley to garnish it and give it your personal touch.
I paired this Bolognese with a delicious Rosso di Montalcino that went together magically. You certainly can use a nice Chianti instead, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I promise you, your loved ones will thank you for this amazing dish. They will think you spend the entire day in the kitchen to create this delectable and hearty meal. With winter around the corner for some of you, this meat sauce will keep you warm and your belly satisfied. I hope you will try this recipe and have fun with it.
Disclosure, I don’t get paid to advertise products on here, I use whatever brand I have in my pantry at the time of cooking. I like to change it up anyway and experiment. That’s what makes cooking fun and interesting (at least for me). Use whatever brand you prefer, be daring and have confidence. If you view cooking as a chore, it will be boring and uninteresting, but if you cook with passion, you will enjoy every step, and your meal will always be a success. I must admit, I enjoy getting compliments from my family because it encourages me to cook more for them. I’m not perfect and I’ve made a few mistakes in the kitchen, but I learned from them. The only way you’re gonna learn and create your signature dish is by experimenting. There is always room for improvement and I welcome feedback. I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog, and will give my recipe a try soon.
Cheers and Happy Cooking from Gina’s Kitchen!