Once winter is here and the days grow short and cold, I crave comfort foods like a bowl of hearty soup, spicy curry, or a big bowl of pasta. Pasta dishes are especially easy to make and are liked by everyone in the family.
Today I am making beef bolognese. Classic bolognese doesn’t take a lot of ingredients or money to make and you can feed a lot of people with it. It’s the ideal thing to make for a family gathering especially during the cooler season of the year.
Bolognese sauce is known in Italian as a ragu alla bologneseis, which simply means a meat-based sauce typical of the city of Bologna. The sauce is very rich and meaty. It’s used to dress long or flat pasta. I am using rigatoni today but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand.
I have looked around for a classic bolognese sauce in my collection of cook books and found that it could take up to 6 hours of simmering time! This is clearly for someone who has a lot of time and while it would taste great — there is a quicker way. My recipe will not take that much of your time and might even taste like you’ve been simmering the sauce all day long. You can easily make this sauce any night of the week after work.
This sauce is very hearty and filling. This dish is a one pot winner in our house, and hope it will be in yours too!
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 lbs. ground chicken or ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup peeled carrots, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. basil, dried
- 1 tsp. oregano, dried
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 jar Prego traditional or Trader Joe’s tomato basil marinara sauce
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water (rinse out the pasta jar ) *
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 lbs. rigatoni or any shape pasta
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
- 6 qt. water
- Extra parmesan cheese
To begin, place chopped onion, celery, and carrot in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-heat. Add ground chicken to the pot, breaking the chicken into small clumps with a wooden spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is lightly browned but not crisp. This will take around 6–8 minutes.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to the ground chicken. Cook until the vegetables are soft, which should take around 6 minutes. Add garlic and then cook for a minute.
Add basil, oregano, chili flakes, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Cook for 30 seconds stirring well.
Next, add the white wine, and cook until until the wine is evaporated.
Pour pasta sauce, *water, and milk into pot. *Once I finish dumping the pasta sauce out of the jar, I take a cup of water to rinse it out. I use this instead of plain water to add more flavor to the sauce.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered. Stir occasionally for 40 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking make the pasta. Bring water (according to pasta package instructions) to rolling boil, add 1 1/2 tbsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. oil. Stir, then add the pasta. Stir well, then cover and cook the pasta for 13-15 minutes or until pasta is cooked to your liking. Make sure to keep on eye and stir time to time.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, and add a little more oil to pasta. This will prevent pasta from sticking together.
Once the sauce is done cooking for 40 minutes, stir in parmesan cheese, and taste for seasoning.
Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir gently to mix. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish then garnish with more parmesan and fresh basil.
Or you can serve the pasta and sauce separate. Serve with a simple salad and toasted garlic bread for a complete dinner.
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would like to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!