Big Fat Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta

Big Fat Bolognese

Remember a few months back when I made fresh pasta?  Were we friends then?

Pasta Making

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.

Whitney and Wine

Rachel and Molly

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.

Big Fat Bolognese

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.

Big Fat Bolognese

Big Fat Bolognese

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.

Big Fat Bolognese

Big Fat Bolognese

Cream too.  Please don’t skip the cream.  That’s downright criminal.

Big Fat Bolognese Sauce

adapted from Mario Batali

makes about 8 cups

Print this Recipe!

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.

71 thoughts on “Big Fat Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta

  1. So a bunch of years ago, I got a pasta roller for myself for Christmas and was ashamed to say that I didn’t like the pasta… I couldn’t believe that I invested in a pasta roller and everyone swears by fresh pasta and I didn’t know why I didn’t like it.

    Being American, I made pasta the way that we eat spaghetti here… boil the pasta, make the sauce, dump it all on your plate and go to town. Well, not so, my friends.

    Three years ago I went to Italy and found out how to really cook the fresh pasta. Once you boil it and it is almost al dente, they put some of the sauce into another skillet on medium, add the al dente pasta with some of the cooking water and let it simmer. This way the pasta would soak up the yummy goodness of the sauce. The pasta will be perfectly al dente with the 3-4 min simmer in the sauce and the marriage of the pasta with the sauce will be sublime. (They don’t do this with fresh sauces like pesto, though… they just toss it in a bowl with the sauce and some cooking water)

    Anyway, this has changed my life and I am happily making use of my pasta roller now! :) Hope this helps anyone making pasta!

  2. Joy,
    This looks really GOOD! There is a pasta sauce from Chef’s Restaurant in Bflo NY which is the only meat sauce I like… but this looks so good, I will try it! Later I’ll let you know just how much I loved it and am expecting to!

  3. Joy, for real? I think our brains are linked somehow. NO JOKE, I was just thinking to myself this weekend, “I wonder if Joy has a favorite spaghetti recipe?”

    If I didn’t just drool over your pictures and recipes before, now that I’m pregnant again I absolutely obsess over them! I heart your blog with a fierce passion!

  4. Oh Yummy! That’s so fantastic since I was always wanting a recipe for this that is tried and true. Thank you, my friend!

    On a side note, mixing meats is SO smart! I recently doubled my recipe for my homemade lasagna. I know a new mother and her family has been eating takeout for 6 mths now! Yikes! I did pork sausage and very lean ground beef. Half for our family, half for them…it was beyond good! The pork had red pepper flakes…sooo many layers of fantastico flavors.

    Can’t wait to try this! I’m thinking tomorrow for dinner! :P

  5. Joy, this look so yummy! I haven’t made bolognase since last winter, I guess it’s time to dig in to rich, homey stuff like this again. I totally agree on the need for carrots, and I usually put a bit of diced pepperoni in my bolognase, but I think I’m going to try your recipe this week. Thanks!

  6. I think I’ll have to try this one this week! I may use a ground soy substitute for the meats (I’m a vegetarian and hopefully that will lighten it up a bit) but the rest sounds delicious!

    Also, your shoes AND aprons are cuter than Mario’s! Thanks for the great recipe to try!

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