The Best Bolognese
Buongiorno! I can't believe I haven't already posted this recipe. I make it almost weekly, but when I'm trying to be healthy, I make it dairy free and switch out ground beef for ground turkey and make it with quinoa pasta instead of regular spaghetti. You can absolutely make it without the dairy, but the milk and the Parmesan make it especially decadent and flavorful. However, this version is the traditional full fat, full flavor version my Nona used to make. I have perfected over the years. I love to make it ahead of time and leave it on the stove for as many hours as possible until it's ready to serve. And everyone knows bolognese is even better the next day. It's been hard to come up with an exact recipe because, like any good Italian, I often just feel it out and taste it until it's perfect. But this is my best effort to put something exact down on paper. I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do!
You will need:
1lb organic ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken)
1 small onion, finely diced
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 small carrots, (or one large) finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
4 baby Bella mushrooms (optional but adds great flavor)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup beef stock (or chicken)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can San Marzano peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 parmesan rind
1/2 cup fresh parmesan (plus more for serving)
Start by chopping your onion, celery and carrot, then crush your garlic.
Now add it in to a large dutch oven pot on the stove with the olive oil, butter, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute until translucent, (around 5 minutes).
Now add in your red wine and simmer until the alcohol has evaporated, (around 5 minutes).
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about a minute.
Now add in your ground beef. Cook all the way through which usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
Then add in your beef stock and hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes, parmesan rind and bay leaf.
Stir everything together and let it simmer with the lid partially on, leaving a gap for the steam to escape.
I like to cook it like this for around 20 minutes.
Now give it a taste and add any extra salt/pepper if necessary.
I then like to stir in the milk, parmesan and basil, then cover again and cook for at least 1-2 hours at the minimum. Stir every so often.
The longer you leave it the better, so if you can wait, leave it for a 3-4 hours on the lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally.
Once it's ready, remove the bay leaf and the parmesan rind and serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle (my two faves for bolognese), dust with more parmesan cheese.