Big Fat Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta
Remember a few months back when I made fresh pasta? Were we friends then?
I made fresh pasta at the tail end of summer this year. I wore a snazzy red apron. I got my hands dirty. I walked around the house showing off my ball of dough to anyone who would pay attention. No one really payed attention. That’s ok.
I have been feeling nostalgic for my summer times of a few months back. Times when I would spend weekends talking about wine and food with these lovely ladies. (My friends are gorgeous. It’s almost weird.) Times when we would drink way too much Rose and just be downright silly. Those times will come again… in many months. For now, I’ll satiate myself with a giant bowl of fresh pasta with this INCREDIBLE Bolognese Recipe. You should do this too. No joke. Pasta is calming and generally makes the world a better place.
For all things pasta, you’ll want to pop on over here and read this. For all things Bolognese, you’ll want to jump on over and sauce it up.
This Bolognese recipe is one I adapted from Mario Batali. The man knows a hell of a lot about Italian food and Crocs. I generally only take his advice on Italian food and not on shoes.
This sauce is so amazing because of its many layers of flavors. There’s wine, there’s thyme, there’s a touch of sweetness from carrots, there’s onions and garlic and two different kinds of meat. Yes. Yes. Yes. If, for some reason, you aren’t so keen on several different types of meat, I would gently suggest you reconsider. Combining ground pork and veal (or beef) adds a dimension to your sauce that you can’t get with one meat alone. It’s well worth the effort. True.
Cream too. Please don’t skip the cream. That’s downright criminal.
Big Fat Bolognese Sauce
adapted from Mario Batali
makes about 8 cups
2 medium onions, finely chipped
4 celery ribs, finely chipped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground by butcher or thinly sliced and pulsed in a food processor until finely ground
1 pound ground veal (or ground beef will do too)
1 pound ground pork (not lean… sorry)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper ( or to taste)
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sautee over moderate heat until softened. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add the pancetta, veal and pork and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks. This should take about 6 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, heating it and mixing it in the cooked meat. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Add the water, canned tomato and thyme and gently simmer the sauce, covered, until it thickens and reduces, about an hour to an hour and a half. Once thickened add salt and pepper and heavy cream. Stir.
Sauce can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the fridge. This sauce keeps in the freezer for 1 month.