At first I ground my own meat for this recipe like Bugialli suggested, but then I developed my own version based on store-bought ground meats. I actually think this quick-and-easy version has a beefier flavor, and it is so much easier to make. No slaving over the stove for hours. In fact, this will take about 30-40 minutes, so I’m classifying it as a weekday meal.
Note: This is also the sauce I use when I make lasagna, a recipe I will share on another day.
Easy Bolognese Sauce
Yield: Serves 2
1T olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped (approx. 1 cup) (yellow works too)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
3 oz. pancetta or prosciutto, finely chopped (I’ve also substituted uncured bacon)
8 oz. ground beef (I use Organic Prairie’s grass-fed 15% fat, available at Vons)
1 link sweet Italian sausage (I use turkey sausage, but use your favorite)
1 cup beef broth
½ cup white wine (red is fine too)
1 pound chopped fresh tomatoes, or 1 lb. canned crushed tomatoes,
or ½ jar of marinara sauce (not the smooth ragú sauce)
Salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup half-and-half
½ lb. angel hair or other pasta (See note below)
1) Fill a large pot of water for the pasta. (I add about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.) While water is heating to a boil, start the sauce.
3) Heat olive oil in the same pan. Add chopped vegetables and cook till soft and beginning to brown.
4) Push vegetables to the outer edges of the pan. Squeeze sausage out of casing, and add raw meats. Continually chop with a wooden spatula until the meat is broken up into small pieces and beginning to brown.
5) Add ½ cup broth and the wine to the pan. As you bring the mixture to a slight boil over medium high heat continue to break apart any large chunks of meat. Cook until the liquid is almost gone. Add remaining broth and reduce by half.
7) Add the tomatoes or sauce and bring to a slight boil again. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
8) About 5 minutes before serving, add cream and heat thoroughly. Serve over your favorite pasta .
1 From his book, Bugialli on Pasta (2000)
2 Using a high quality pasta is important. My current favorite is an organic, Jerusalem artichoke flour-based pasta from DeBoles, which is also gluten-free. You can find this and other DeBoles varieties at Pacific Foods on Linden Ave. Do you have a favorite brand? Please share.