Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pasta Bolognese

Pasta Bolognese
With the first cold raindrops falling outside and the first tree leaves turning their color into yellow I’ve started thinking about something nourishing and warm. Sauce Bolognese. This typical Italian sauce, known throughout the world, has become a kind of generic name for minced meat and tomato sauce, but most of the families, especially outside Italy, prepare it according to their taste without being aware of the ingredients in the original recipe. The taste of the original Bolognese sauce should be kind of creamy and this is because of the milk, which mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and is a staple ingredient of the authentic recipe. The sauce requires simmering for some hours in order to develop its rich and hearty taste. The combination of sautéed onion, celery and carrots, called in Italian soffritto is also important. According to people from Bologna, this sauce tastes best served with fresh pasta like tagliatelle or fettucine.
Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese sauce

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100 g (3 oz) pancetta, finely chopped
  •  1 kg (2¼ pounds) minced beef (not too lean)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • ½ glass white wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • one 400 g (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan to serve
  • 300g (12oz) fresh pasta or dried spaghetti
Spaghetti BolognesePreparation:
Combine oil and butter in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 10 minutes until soft. Add garlic and pancetta and stir together allowing the pancetta get golden and crisp. Add minced meat breaking it with a spatula into the pan. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until all the meat has changed its color, about 20 minutes. After the meat has released most of its fat and moisture, add tomato paste and cook about 5 additional minutes. Add wine and cook for about 5 additional minutes until it has mostly evaporated and you stop sensing its smell. Stir in oregano. Add milk little by little and stir to incorporate. Break tomatoes into the pan, add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for at least two hours until sauce has reduced and gets thick and the rich flavors develop. Remove sauce from heat.

Cook pasta according to the instructions just until al dente. Drain and put into deep bowls. Spoon over the Bolognese sauce and sprinkle generously Parmesan above.

Pasta Bolognese


  1. Cannot wait to try this! Looks so amazingly yummy!

    1. Thank you! I am sure you will like the mellow taste of the recipe!

  2. Simple but elegant! Perfect dish for cold days -)

    1. Thank you, Yelena, I could have spaghetti every day and only weight concerns restrain me from doing so ;)

  3. A true bolognese. Don’t forget the milk. I throw in some crushed Chile peppers to kick it up a notch, and some mushrooms because I can.