Monday, September 20, 2010

Bolognese Sauce

I've talked about my love of pasta and carbs right? Well, I love a good meat sauce with my spaghetti. So why not try and make my own? I looked up a lot of recipes and many of them incorporated pork and beef. That's a lot of meat. Luckily, the Pioneer Woman had a guest blogger and fellow cook over at her house. And he made Bolognese Sauce. If there's a difference between bolognese sauce and meat sauce, I couldn't tell you. Pastor Ryan has his own blog here, but here's also the recipe on the Pioneer Woman's site. And here's the recipe:

Bolognese Sauce

1/2 cups olive oil
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 whole large red onion, diced
2 lbs. ground beef
2 Tb. dried oregano
2 Tb. dried basil flakes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 cups red wine
2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (28 oz. each) whole tomatoes - I used a can of diced tomatoes
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots (I grated my own carrots, but you can buy a bag at the grocery store) and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and then add in ground beef. Cook for a few minutes until brown, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture.

Throw in oregano and basil. Use fresh if you have it; if you don't it's fine. (If you use fresh herbs, double the amount.) When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. Add Worcestershire and stir. Add canned tomatoes. Finally pour in milk, stir and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours - however long you need. Taste here! I found out it needed some salt.

Serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Look at that melted Parmesan cheese!

Ok, I was giddy with how this turned out. I halved the recipe since as it's written above is for 8 servings. And this recipe was super easy! Definitely let the sauce simmer for a while so some of the liquid cooks out. Unless you like a runnier sauce. But the outcome was thick and beefy and so delicious. It stuck to the noodles like a good sauce should.

As I mentioned above, definitely taste the sauce. It ended up needing some salt to give the flavors an extra boost. And once that salt was added, it was so much better. I skimped on the onions for reasons we all know and didn't have any red wine. I almost ended up using red wine vinegar which would've been a big no no. Instead, I substituted some sherry, which I had. If you use red wine, the sauce would probably be a little more robust. If you're not a wine drinker, go buy the little travel/airplane size bottles that you can find. That way you're not left with a big bottle of red wine that you won't drink.

Loved this Italian meal. Of course I served this with some garlic bread, you know, for the added butter and carbs. Forget a nice green salad. Although that would've been refreshing. If you do decide to make the whole 8 servings, you probably could freeze half of it for later. The amount I ended up making was enough for dinner and lunch leftovers for both Wes and me, plus a little extra.

So, so easy and a classic. Hope you give it a try!


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