I have often made ‘spaghetti sauce’, which included meat, onions and herbs, when cooking for my family. It is one of my son’s, Zach, favorite. So when I wanted to make a Bolognese sauce I wondered what the difference was. The difference is adding meat and ‘vegetables’, like carrots and onions and sometimes celery. From what I’ve read, Bolognese sauce is like a Ragu in Italian and made with vegetables and the meat is cooked quickly and often finishes cooking in the sauce. Where Spaghetti sauce is usually just a sauce with herbs.
I’ll continue to make a Bolognese sauce because it’s good, rich and hearty and I guess I’ve been making a version of this for quite some time. This sauce is just as good if not richer in flavor the next day. I hope you give it a try.
1 280z or 2 14.5 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes plus 1 14.5oz (decrease if you use less than 2 lbs of meat above)
1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Oregano (dried) or 2 Tbsp fresh Oregano, chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 cup good Red Wine
½ cup Chicken Stock
¼ – ½ cup Cream, if desired
Garnish with Chiffon chopped Basil, chopped Parsley and shaved Parmesan Cheese
Favorite Pasta. I like a hearty noodle or Rigatoni for this sauce.
Prep your vegetables and Pancetta.
If using whole San Marzano tomatoes, use an immersion blender to crush and/or chop the tomatoes.
In a large deep sauté pan or Dutch oven type pot, cook onions, carrots and celery on medium heat, until just soft. Add in the Pancetta and continue to cook til the Pancetta is slightly crispy. Add in the garlic and continue to cook until soft and aromatic. Remove vegetables and pancetta to a small bowl.
In the same pan add in the meat and cook on medium to high heat. Add Salt and Pepper to season the meat. Break up the meat and let it set while cooking. Once brown, flip over the cooked meat to cook the other side until brown. If the meat is not fully cooked, no worries, the meat will continue to cook in the sauce.
Add in the red wine to the meat and cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated and the bits of meat left on the pan have been loosened up. Add in the vegetable mixture and stir into the meat. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and bay leaf. Stir and cook on medium to high heat until it begins to bubble. Then turn down the heat to a simmer.
Taste the sauce and add in additional Salt and Pepper if needed. Add in the Chicken stock. Continue to cook sauce, on a low heat (a simmer) for about one hour. Add in the cream and continue to cook the sauce for about another 10 – 20 minutes. The longer you cook the sauce I think the richer tasting the sauce becomes and all of the ingredients have had a chance to come together nicely.
In another large add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook till al dente. If needed add in a little of the pasta water to the sauce and/or drizzle with a little more red wine. Cook the sauce for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve the pasta in individual bowls and spoon the sauce over the pasta or mix in the pasta to the sauce. Whichever is your preference works well.
Garnish with Basil and Parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese.
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