Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ok, actually this recipe is not a traditional ragu alla bolognese with its rich, milk-simmered cut of beef and pancetta, but it is more than simply "Spaghetti with Meat Sauce."

This recipe churns out such a lovely, thick succulent sauce of meat, herbs and tomatoes that it is almost chili-like. In fact, when I am avoiding carbs, I will eat just a bowl of this and call it "Italian Chili." I bet if I tossed in some white cannellini beans this would be over-the-top good.

You might say that nothing is worth waiting the hours it takes to cook, but in fact you would be wrong. I usually let this simmer on the stove for a few hours, letting all that collagen in the meat break down into gelatin, though it can be ready about 3 hours after you start.

Topped with some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and a chiffonade of fresh basil, you have a satisfying and sublime dish.

See? I ate this last night with no pasta, just a bowl full of sauce. It was insanely delicious.

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T minced sundried tomato and garlic* (See Notes)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 T minced sundried tomato and garlic

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are tender. Stir in red bell pepper and saute 2 minutes.

  2. Place ground beef in the skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in beef broth, diced tomatoes (without the juice), wine and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and add celery, bay leaves and Italian seasoning.

  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until sauce thickens. Check from time to time and stir, making sure that it is not sticking and burning. You don't want this to scorch.

  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the minced sundried tomato and garlic, 1 T of basil and let simmer for another hour.

  5. Remove the bay leaves, add ½ cup of red wine, the reserved tomato juice and the final tablespoon of minced sundried tomato and garlic, raise the heat slightly, uncover and let cook down if necessary.

  6. Serve over pasta.
Even better the next day.

  • About the sundried tomatoes and garlic - I often buy California brand minced sun-dried tomato with garlic, but if I can't find that, I will substitute jarred sun-dried tomato pesto.

    Barring that, I make my own mixture by dumping 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl and covering them with really hot, near-boiling water and let them sit and rehydrate.

    Then I chop them finely and add minced garlic and a wee bit of olive oil and let them sit for about 30 minutes.

  • Be sure to use your largest skillet or good-sized dutch oven, because this makes a ton of sauce.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails