Today I just thought I’d share a classic Italian Bolognese sauce we love to make a.k.a. quite possibly the ultimate healthy comfort food. ??
I know it’s a common dish that nearly everyone on earth already knows (or think they know ?) how to make, but did you know that real traditional Italian bolognese is actually quite different to what a lot of us outside of Italy are used to? Have you ever eaten a delicious pasta in ragu sauce at an Italian restaurant and wondered why it tastes nothing like the bolognese you make at home? Well, this is why:
First of all, did you know that there is no garlic in a classic Italian bolognese? Or no herb at all? And the sauce is virtually always made with wine, milk and broth, as well as tomatoes? And unlike us (at least here in the UK), who generally only use beef, Italians traditionally use a combination of minced beef and pork (or at the very least pancetta/bacon).
I’m not one to care about rules. With cooking, just like art, rules are there to be broken. If it tastes good, it’s all that matters. So I’m not here to tell anyone that their way to make bolognese is ‘wrong’. But I am here to tell you to give the traditional way a go because it tastes fantastic! You won’t regret it. ?
It does take some time as you need to let it simmer for ages to get that perfect flavour, but you can always do a big batch to make it all worth the effort.
P.S.: I’m using Pasta Rummo Rigatoni here which has to be one of the best gluten free pasta I’ve ever tried. If you can get your hands on it wherever you are, I highly recommend this brand.
- 750g minced beef & pork mixture
- 2 large onions
- 3-4 carrots
- 3 celery sticks
- A few garlic cloves (optional)
- 2 x 400g canned tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 400ml beef or chicken stock (or 2 stock cubes + 400ml water)
- Butter (or olive oil, but it tastes better with butter)
- 300ml red or white wine
- 300ml whole milk
- ½ tsp dijon mustard (optional)
- Lots of salt & black pepper
- Optional: herbs of your choice, cayenne pepper, bay leaves
- Finely chop the vegetables and pan fry on medium/low heat in 2 tablespoons of butter until they soften up (about 5 minutes) and then set aside.
- Pan fry the minced meat on medium heat in a bit more butter until browned, then add the wine and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the cooked vegetables back into the pan along with the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, stock (or stock cubes + water), mustard and seasonings.
- Simmer for 3 hours, stirring from time to time, and about 40 minutes before the end, add the milk. Note: if necessary at any point during the cooking process, add a bit more water. And if necessary, cook your bolognese longer/as long as needed to reduce it at the end.