Bolognese meat sauce is the perfect Sunday Night meal. Maybe this weekend?
The Meal: homemade bolognese meat sauce over linguine. Shared with friends on a Sunday evening to unwind from a busy weekend and get charged up for Monday morning.
The Details: combination of pancetta, various ground meats, “soffritto”, fresh bay leaves and a slow 3 hour cooking time.
- 5 stars
- Everyone joined the “clean plate club” this night and we purposely made extra so we’d have enough for “to-go” containers for lunch the next day. Bolognese is the gift that keeps on giving.
- Would You Eat It Again?: Everyone agreed, yes!
- What Would You Change?: serve a nice light salad with this dish. Between the meat and pasta, it is quite a hearty dish and it’s nice to something light between bites.
Gathering around a table for dinner with friends on a Sunday night, makes it feel like family. It’s nice to have this Miami “family” to be able to relax, unwind and just feel at ease. Kelvin smiled from ear to ear the whole night (because Bolognese is his favorite), while there was a silence over the table as everyone devoured their food. Sometimes, words aren’t really needed to feel completely content.
The Recipe: (inspired by Williams-Sonoma Pasta Cookbook)
What I changed from recipe below: substituted additional pork/beef instead of using veal because it can be pricey. I use half/half instead of heavy cream and totally skip on the veal demi-glace. I feel like there is enough going on this sauce, that for a normal night, we don’t need to spend another billion dollars or add another million calories.
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 thin slices pancetta, ﬁnely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into small dice
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 lb. ground veal
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups unsalted beef stock or canned broth
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and ﬁnely chopped
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup veal demi-glace
- 1 lb. homemade tagliatelle (see related recipe at left) or purchased fresh fettuccine
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a Dutch oven or large, heavy ﬂameproof casserole dish over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté until just starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until aromatic and very lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground beef, pork and veal, stir to break up, season with salt and pepper, and add a generous pinch of nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium and sauté until the meat is lightly browned. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated.
Add the stock and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, sage and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours. If the sauce seems thin, cook it, uncovered, until thick and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Skim the surface of excess fat. Add the cream and demi-glace. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but ﬁrm to the bite), 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the freshness of the pasta. Drain and transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. of the cheese. Toss until the butter melts. Add the sauce and toss gently. Serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pasta, by Erica De Mane (Simon & Schuster, 2001)