Bangin’ Bolognese Sauce
Yes, I’m calling this my bangin’ bolognese sauce and I stand by this statement!!! I’ve made bolognese many times before and I’ve read lots of bolognese recipes — this recipe is the culmination of everything I’ve learned and all of my past bolognese attempts. And it’s damn good.
This recipe is based off of tradition, with a few twists of my own. These twists are: pancetta, balsamic vinegar and sun dried tomato paste. I want to note that you can absolutely skip these ingredients, and you’ll still be left with a delicious, classic bolognese. You also can most definitely substitute sun dried tomato paste for regular tomato paste. The only reason I used sun dried tomato is because it’s all i could find during this time of quarantine, and I think it adds a little more tart sweetness instead of full on sweetness, which I find that regular tomato paste has. I used Amore sun dried tomato paste which is cheap and you can find it on Amazon or at the store.
This bolognese is like eating a hug. A fatty, sexy, saucy hug…which isn’t how I would usually categorize hugs, but this bolognese has created its own category of hug. The traditional preferred pasta to serve it with is a tagliatelle or a pappardelle, but if you can’t get your hands on those, go for a fettuccine (as pictured below.)
I made this recipe on Amazon LIVE, along with fresh pasta in my pasta machine. I’m linking the products I used to make this recipe below if you’re interested in them! The pasta machine is an investment but we love it. I also just recommend everyone have a great sauté pan (the one I’m using was a wedding gift, so it’s really nice) and immersion blender, so I thought this would be helpful!! Products are at the bottom of the blog post!
|Olive oil, for pan can sub for vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil)|
|2tbsp unsalted butter|
|1 medium white onion, small dice|
|2 celery stalks, small dice|
|1large carrot, small dice|
|1lb 80/20 ground beef chuck|
|4oz. pancetta (can sub for bacon, but bacon will add a smoky element)|
|1cup whole milk (whole milk is preferred but can be subbed for half and half, or chicken stock or broth if you have no dairy in the house)|
|1/8tsp (or just a pinch) ground nutmeg|
|1 bay leaf|
|1cup dry white wine (dry white wine is the traditional ingredient, but it can be subbed for another non-fruity wine: red or rosé)|
|2cups canned whole tomatoes San Marzano is preferred (can also sub for crushed, diced or purée if you do not have whole tomatoes)|
|3tsp Balsamic vinegar, optional but preferred|
|2tbsp sun dried tomato paste|
|Salted water (3 tsp salt and 3 cups of water, mixed together)|
|Fresh or dried pasta|
|Parmesan, for topping|
|Immersion blender (optional)|
|Large sauté pan or sauce pan|
Put the oil and butter into a sauté pan on medium heat. Wait until the butter has melted into the oil, then put the pancetta into the pan. Let the pancetta cook for 5-7 minutes, until crisp and the fat is swimming throughout the pan.
Add the onion and stir until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the carrot and celery and continue to stir or 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened and the fat is thoroughly coating the vegetables.
Add the ground beef along with a generous pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Break up the ground beef in the pan with a fork or wooden spoon, until it's separated into small chunks. Let the ground beef continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, until it appears gray or brown in color.
Add the milk and drop the heat to medium low. Let the milk continue to bubble until it cooks off and there is little to no milk liquid left.
Add a pinch of nutmeg and stir into the mixture.
Keep the heat at medium low, and add the white wine. Let the white wine bubble until cooked down halfway (should take 5 minutes.)
Add the tomatoes, sun dried tomato paste (or regular tomato paste, if using) and 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar and stir into the mixture. Add another pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper. Continue to stir the tomato mixture until the balsamic vinegar fully combined. Add a bay leaf and stir it so it's fully coated in the sauce.