Bolognese is a wonderful dish to make any night of the week, especially when you're craving something hearty. It's savory, has plenty of protein and it's also easy freeze in batches for those nights when you don't have time to whip up something from scratch or the ability to go to the grocery store quickly.
Swap option: This recipe uses a homemade tomato sauce, but store-bought can work just as well.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small onions, peeled and diced finely
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes (or up to 1 teaspoon, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
- 1 pound dry spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup fresh tomato sauce (fresh or store-bought)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 cups Parmesan cheese
- Nonstick baking condiment spray
For the tomato sauce:
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt andpepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes aresoftened and a sauce is formed. Stir in the fresh basil and remove from heat.
For the pasta Bolognese:
1. In a food processor, grind the carrot, onion and celery until fine.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the ground vegetables,pepper flakes and garlic; simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the moistureevaporates, stirring occasionally.
3. In the same saucepan, brown the beef, then add the tomato sauce, wine and beefstock.
4. Stir to mix and simmer over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½hours, or until the sauce thickens and is reduced by one quarter.
5. Remove sauce from heat, stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
6. Plate cooked spaghetti, top with Bolognese sauce and more grated Parmesan cheese.