As far as pasta sauces go, Bolognese is one of my favorites. This rich meat sauce originates in the Northern Italian city of Bologna. There are as many variations of this recipe as there are Italian grandmothers, but one thing they agree on is that a true Bolognese sauce includes a small amount of tomatoes or tomato paste along with the ground meat.
My recipe below uses red wine instead of white and eliminates the milk or cream. The result; a deep rich red meat sauce that will have you moaning after every bite.
Savor the flavors and make this for your next Sunday dinner.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbls. butter
- 2 carrots, finely, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 package of meatloaf mix
- 1 can tomato paste
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups of water
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
- In a dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the meatloaf mix and stir into the vegetables. Turn up heat to medium-high and cook until browned. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Toss in the bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes add another cup of water and simmer until reduced, an hour total. Stir and taste frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- During the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the spaghetti according to directions. Add spaghetti to the Bolognese sauce and toss. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top and serve.