Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Classic Homemade Italian Bolognese Sauce

     My Bolognese sauce is an authentic Italian sauce that is full of flavor.  After just one bite, you will feel like you are dining out in Italy.  The sauce is really rich and hearty.  


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      For those who don't know, Bolognese sauce was created first in Bologna, Italy and is a deep, rich, hearty sauce that is meat based.  Unlike a marinara or spaghetti sauce that is tomato based.  Marinara sauce can be whipped up in a matter of minutes but a good Bolognese sauce needs to simmer and build the flavors with slow cooking.

 

Classic Homemade Italian Bolognese Sauce

 

 1 c. merlot wine (or beef broth if you prefer)

1 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano or 1/2 c. Gournay cheese & 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan 

1/2 c. half-and-half 

1 lb. ground beef

l lb. pork sausage 

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chooped

2-3 medium sized tomatoes

1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

zest of lemon +1 squeeze of the lemon juice

2 T. butter

2 T. parsley flakes

1 T. brown sugar

1 T. olive oil

2 tsp. basil

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. crussed red pepper flakes

a dash of nutmeg

 

     Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Put your tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some salt on them.  I said to use 2-3 tomatoes but the ones we got from our garden today were really small so I used several.  Anyway, roast your tomatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and a bit charred.  

 

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Bring them out of the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes and then blend them in a blender to turn them into a sauce like consistency.  

 

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     As the tomatoes are roasting, you can start working on some of the other components of the recipe.  In a large pot, melt your butter over medium-low heat.  Once it is hot, add in the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery.


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     Saute the vegetables until they are soft and the onions are translucent.  Turn the heat up to medium and stir in your meat. 


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     Once the meat is browned, drain off the excess grease.  I always let the meat get good and dark and allow the meat to kind of carmelize by sticking to the bottom of the pan.  These brown bits that stick to the pan have so much flavor to them.  Also, I always leave some of the grease because grease adds in yummy flavor.  


    Add in all the spices and seasonings and stir.  Stir in the charred tomatoes that you blended up, the crushed canned tomatoes, and the cheese(s).  I love to use the Parmigiano-Reggiano but can rarely find them in a 1 hour radius of where I live so I just use the 1/2 Gournay cheese and 1/2 parmesan cheese and it still turns out beautifully.  Stir in the lemon zest and juice of the lemon.  Stir well and simmer for at least 2-3 hours, or all day which is even better. Yes, the hardest part of all this is having the patience to allow the sauce to simmer and build up the flavors over several hours.  It is hard but so worth it.  


     If the sauce is too thin, just turn the heat up to high and boil until the sauce reduces some but be sure to stir frequently if you do so.  


     Serve over your favorite pasta or just with some good crusty bread.  I like to serve this over a wide pasta that can stand up to the sauce.  Some of my favorite pasta with Bolognese sauce are lasagna, tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettucini, rigatoni, or even regular spaghetti noodles.  

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     You can use a crock pot to make the Bolognese sauce.  To do so, cook the onions and meat and then add them to the crock pot with all the other ingredients and cook on low for 10-12 hours. 


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