Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” For years, making Bolognese sauce has scared the daylights out of me. My mother never made it, and the only time I’ve tried it was in restaurants. I always figured, “If Paula couldn’t do it, I’m definitely not going to be able to do.” And then it happened, an epiphany if you will. I was at hot yoga and did a move that I never thought was possible. That night on the drive home I said to myself, “If I can do that, I can make Bolognese.Let the research begin!” I was surprised to find how many differing opinions there were—white wine or red, ricotta cheese or parmigiano, rigatoni or mafalde. So I decided to use my better judgment, and this is what I’ve created. Hope you enjoy! —Jennifer
Helpful hint: This is a very labor-intensive recipe, and unless you have a sous chef who will do all the chopping for you, I suggest that you chop everything the night before to cut down the preparation time. The sauce needs to cook for 4 hours, so anything to make your life simpler…
What you’ll need:
1 can (28 oz) of Tuttorosso diced tomatoes (or any brand you prefer)
2 large carrots
2 large stalks celery
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
¼ lb pancetta
2 lbs meat (just over ½ pound of veal, ½ pound of beef, ½ of pork)
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
2 cups Half & Half
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp pepper
Ricotta for serving
Chop the carrots, celery, garlic, onion and pancetta. Make sure they are finely chopped and uniform so it cooks evenly.
In a large sauté pan melt butter and add olive oil.
Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes over high heat.
Add the pancetta and cook for another 10 minutes on high heat.
Lower the heat to medium. Mix the meat and separate into three large chunks.
Add the meat, separating the pieces as they cook.
When the meat is cooked through turn the heat to high.
Let the meat cook steadily on high heat to create caramelization. Make sure you don’t burn the meat, checking it every now and again. Depending on your stove, 12-15 minutes should work.
Lower heat to medium and add red wine, and begin scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all that delicious caramelization off the bottom of the pan. Cook away the wine for about 4 minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes (with water), Half and Half, beef broth, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours with sauté pan half covered. Mix every so often.
|Serve over rigatoni, add a dollop of ricotta cheese and enjoy!|