Pasta with bolognese sauce is one pasta recipe that I get asked about all the time. The technique behind this delicious meat sauce recipe is one that can also be applied to making a great chili, which we will cover next week. Everyone loves pasta, everyone loves a rich meat bolognese sauce. This is a simple delicious meat sauce recipe that will be a guaranteed crowd pleaser. This is also a good meat sauce for lasagna.
2 1/2 lbs Ground Beef, 80/20
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
3 Celery Stalks, diced
5 Cloves of Garlic
2 cups Tomato Paste
A few Bay Leaves
1 Bunch of Thyme
Half a bottle of red wine
1/4 of Cream
1 Lb of Pasta
Salt and Pepper
Water, as needed
Fresh parsley for garnish
Cut all the vegetables into a rough dice.
In a food processor (you can use a blender but be careful that you don’t puree the vegetables), add the carrots and pulse them until they become a finely coarse texture, almost mimicking the texture of the ground beef. Then remove, and repeat with the rest of the vegetables. You can blend the garlic and onions together. Then add them all to a bowl.
In a large heavy bottom pot, preheated over medium-high heat, coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil. Once up to temp, add the vegetables. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook that for about 20 minutes. You want to cook out all the moisture then let it continue to cook until you start to see a little browning forming at the bottom of the pan.
At this point add the meat. Break up the meat and then season that generously. Stir in with the vegetables to combine. Then cook that until all the moisture cooks out and then the meat starts to brown and more brown bits, or as the say in the biz, “fond”, starts to develop on the bottom of the pan. As soon as there is some light fond starting to build up, ad the 2 cups of tomato paste and mix it well. Lower the heat to make sure this doesn’t burn. You want to cook that for about 3-5 until the fond on the bottom of the pan gets a little deeper in color, again making sure it's not burnt. Deep black is a pretty good indication that its burnt and you want to make sure you add the wine before it gets that far. Use your judgment. There is a fine line between deep flavor and burnt flavor.
After the fond has developed, deglaze with at least half a bottle of red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all that fond and “clean” the bottom of the pan. You can use a little more wine if you see some bits still stuck on the bottom of the pan. Cook the wine till it at least reduces by half. Taste it and see if it needs more seasoning. Then add the bay leaf and thyme. Then enough water for sorta covers the meat. Then simmer that and cook for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Every hour, check on it and if you see the water has evaporated, add a cup more water and then let it cook down again. Do this every hour or so. Don’t worry if you have too much water when you want to cook the pasta. All you have to do is keep cooking it down till enough water is evaporated and you’re happy with the thickness of the sauce. It definitely shouldn’t be too loose and it shouldn’t be too thick.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. Salt it generously and then cook the pasta about 80% of the way through.
While that’s cooking, remove the herbs from the sauce, add the cream. You can also add some parmesan cheese to the sauce (I forgot in the video). When the pasta is 80% cooked, either drain the water or in a separate pan, combine the sauce and the pasta on low heat. Toss and stir to until the pasta is cooked and nicely al dente. You can add a little pasta water as needed and some more cheese.
Then serve with an additional ladle of sauce of each serving, topped with cheese and finely chopped parsley. Bon Appetit.
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