Simple & Satisfying – the Best Bolognese

If you’re in the mood for a classic tomato, wine and meat sauce then this is the ONE with a slight twist of course. The original recipe is from Bologna. bolognese

It’s simmered slowly in a big pot and deliciously tossed with noodles of your choice.  I switched up the original ½ lb. (250g) of lean ground beef and ¼ lb. (125g) each ground veal and ground pork using all hot Italian sausage.  If you wish to stick to the original by all means do so but substituting some or all the meat with the sausage was absolutely wonderful & warming for this time of year.  It got ravenous reviews from our group.        Buen Appetito!

¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil

2 ounces (60 g) pancetta, coarsely chopped

1 lb. best quality hot Italian sausage – casings removed

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 small carrots, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

One 28 ounces (840 ml) crushed canned Italian Plum Tomatoes

2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine or 4 cups – two for you!

*1 tsp (5 ml) hot red chilli flakes (optional if using only the hot Italian sausage)

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) nutmeg

¼ cup (60 ml) coarsely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano

3 Tbsp (45 ml) coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, about 3 inches square (for flavour)

2 tsp (10 ml) brown sugar

Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

*I also add 21 vegetable seasoning salute (or a variation of) and Bay Leaf.

2 pounds (1 kg) of fresh or packaged pasta of your liking will be good to serve 6 people for dinner with a side salad.

Heat ¼  cup (60 ml) of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and sauté for 1 minute.

If using ground meats, gradually add them and cook breaking up any large chunks, just until browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove meat with a slotted spoon to a wired mesh sieve to drain any excess fat.

**OR; remove casings from sausage (about 4) and cook with a little olive oil breaking up pieces in skillet until cooked through & no longer pink.  Set aside.

In a dutch oven preferably or solid pot heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes.  Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery and cook until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the drained meat or *sausage,  tomatoes, wine, red chilli flakes, nutmeg, Italian parsley, oregano & rosemary.  Stir and bring to a simmer.  Add the Parmesan rind and brown sugar and season to taste.  Simmer slowly over low heat, uncovered, about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove rind.bolognese in pot

Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta until just tender to the bite, al dente stage. Reserve a little liquid from cooking water and drain the pasta in a colander.

If making this as main course for 6 people, add the drained pasta to the sauce and mix well, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water if needed to coat the pasta evenly.  Cover and cook for one minute.  Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese & a little flat leaf parsley for garnish. Very Important: Don’t forget the vino – it makes everything taste better.  Salute!

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