Bolognese sauce

 

Olive oil-about 3 tablespoons

1 yellow onion

2 small carrots

2 small celery stalks

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

4lbs Roma/plum tomatoes or use 18oz canned tomatoes

ground nutmeg

salt/pepper

red pepper flakes

 

This was for my husband.  He is a pasta lover and we both like a good Bolognese sauce, otherwise known as “ragu” in Italy.  It is an easy sauce to make, yet it requires many steps.  The first step is chop, chop and chop some more.  You will need to chop carrots, celery and onions as finely as possible.  The onions are chopped separately.  I have opted to use fresh tomatoes, you need a lot more, but the results are better.  You will get a fresh sauce without all the additives of a canned tomato.  I used to blanch my tomatoes to peel them until my mom who swore by this, bought me the zyliss tomato peeler.  It is a life saver.  I just peel the tomatoes, de-seed them, buy cutting them in half and squeezing out the seeds out over the sink.  Then I dice them.  Add a bit of olive oil to a pot and cook the onions for about 3 mins.  Add the carrot and celery mix, let cook for a bit, maybe 10 mins.  Now all I need is some white wine, a glass for me and about a cup for the sauce.  Actually, I also need a wholesome glass of milk, about a cup.  Once the carrots, celery and onions are cooked, add in about a pound of beef.  I like to actually use about 1/2 lb beef and 1/2 lb ground pork.  I think it adds depth to the sauce.  Cook the beef/pork till the pink is gone.  Add about 1 cup milk and cook till almost evaporated.  Then you add about 1 cup dry white wine.  Try to use a good quality wine, one that you would want to drink as well, while cooking.  After the wine is evaporated add your tomatoes.  I use about 4lbs of Roma Tomatoes.  You can also use two large cans of whole tomatoes.  Add some pepper flakes, not too much, just a few pinches.  My friend added about 2 tablespoon full and we spent the evening trying the sauce, adding more tomatoes, trying the sauce again, finding it too hot, added more tomatoes. By the end, we still had a very spicy sauce, but about 6 times the amount, she had enough to feed a small army!  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.  You will want to cook your sauce on medium for a bit then reduce to low and simmer for about 2 to 3 hours.  This is a great sauce to freeze, but it will also last up to one week in the fridge.  I plan to use our left-over sauce to make a Bolognese lasagna with a bechamel sauce.  The bechamel is easy to make and more common in Italy than using ricotta, which I feel dries out the lasagna.  For those of you following the Dukan diet, this is a great recipe for all phases minus attack.  If you are doing the second phase, this is even delicious just alone!  This sauce is delicious on pasta and polenta.  Enjoy!    Yum.

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