No ImageClassic Bolognese Sauce for Pasta

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  1. Barb Leahy

    Hi! I see you cover it when you first add the tomatoes, After that is it covered?? For the next 2 hours?? It smells great!

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  2. Meg

    Thank you, Elise!!! I can’t get enough of this Bolognese, and wish I could give it more stars! I literally have cravings for it. I’ve made it about once a month since I discovered it, and I’ve played around with it quite a bit, just depending on what I have on hand, and trying it with different meats. It’s delicious as-is, but everyone deserves to eat this delicious sauce, so here are some tips that might help tweak it to your preferences!
    -It is time consuming. Make a double batch! Why spend 3 hours on two different occasions, when you can do it once and freeze half? To do this, just use a dutch oven or stock pot.
    -Whole Foods was out of pancetta the first time I made this, so I omitted. However, it’s so flavorful that I never felt the need to put it in any other time I’ve made it.
    -I’m not a huge carrot-as-an-ingredient fan, so I’ve made it with and without. Great either way! My go-to is just the onion and celery.
    -I’ve used the 3 meats Elise calls for. I’ve also just used beef and pork (the same meats I use for meatballs), but currently I have a double-batch of Bolognese on the stove with 2lbs of ground turkey. I feel like I’m being health(ier) whenever I make it with ground turkey, and it’s just as amazing as using the other meats!!
    -I haven’t made it with just the ground cinnamon and cloves, because I was looking for a bolognese recipe with nutmeg from the start. I’ve used all 3 every time! I pre-mix them with the pepper so they all distribute evenly when I throw them in.
    -I’ve only used canned whole and peeled tomatoes, and because of this recipe, always have a few cans on-hand. The first few times, I broke up the tomatoes, as directed, but find it hard when I’m making a double recipe, since the tomatoes sink to where I can’t see them. Also, I hate getting a bite that has the root(?) of a tomato. To prevent this, I drain the liquid from the can into the pot. Then, I take the whole tomatoes, put them into a shallow bowl, cut the ends off and discard, then chop the tomatoes up with just a flat-bottomed wooden spoon, and throw them into the sauce. Don’t do this on a cutting board! You’ll lose all of the juice from the tomatoes. It’s extra work, but is worth it.
    -Due to a weird curdling incident once, I’ve always been weary of adding milk to any recipe. Any time I add a dairy product to a soup or sauce, I temper it first. To do this, make sure the sauce is simmering on low for a couple minutes first. For the Bolognese, I use what I’ve got on hand (which is never whole milk, but usually a combination of 1% or 2% and light cream or heavy cream), and put it into a bowl. I then add some of the warm sauce into the milk, stirring the whole time. Then I dump it into the sauce while stirring. I allow the sauce to simmer on low from here on out, but after just adding the milk, I stir every couple of minutes until it slowly warms up to the rest of the sauce. It’s an easy step that could prevent you from wasting a lot of ingredients and time!
    -Don’t skimp on time!! Cook it for the entire time Elise instructs. Bolognese gets its flavor from simmering for a while.
    -I saw a review that said the sauce was thinner than they wanted. Next time, just throw a little flour in (maybe 2 tablespoons for a single recipe, 1/4 cup for double), after the vegetables have sauteed, and cook it, stirring constantly, until it turns to a pale tan. It will thicken the entire sauce without having to make a roux.


  3. Lisa

    This was my first time making a Bolognese sauce. The flavor was good but I was expecting the sauce to be thicker and cling to the pasta. I’m wondering if I didn’t cook at a high enough temperature. Any suggestions?


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  4. Penny

    Yummy! Loved the seasonings, and served it on fried polenta.


  5. Russell

    Hi, just a quick thing, the reason for the milk I would suggest comes from the days when most meat, cheap cuts etc were cooked in milk to tenderize them. With it being an old family recipe I would think that would be the most likely answer.

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