Friday, January 30, 2009

Bolognese Sauce with Thick Pasta

Adapted from Rachael Ray's Recipe...I made a few changes. She doesn't mind :)

Rachael says to Double this recipe and freeze the other half for a quick meal when you need it.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound bacon, diced small
2 pounds ground lean hamburger
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
Salt & Pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1/4 cup tomato paste
5 cups beef stock
1 pound of thick pasta like papperadelle (I found this at Trader Joe's)
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped for topping


In a large pot heat olive oil over med-high heat, then add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the hamburger to the pan the bacon was cooked in and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook, stirring until soft, 4-5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, allspice, bay leaves and thyme and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the reserved bacon back into the pan and stir in the tomato paste. Cook 3-4 minutes to caramelize. Add in 2 cups of the beef stock and scrape the tasty stuff off the bottom of the pan (wooden spoon). Cook until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the rest of the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer until the sauce is thickened. About 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours stirring occasionally to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This could be put in a crock pot at this stage and cook on low for 5 hours.

Cook pasta according to package, drain, reserving one cup of pasta water, and add back to pan along with reserved pasta water and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 the sauce (reserving the other half to pour over top) and toss well to coat.

Serve the pasta on shallow dishes. top with additional sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley and cheese.

Rachael used red wine for two cups of the beef stock. She also put in a cup of heavy cream to the sauce at the end but I decided to keep the calories lower by not adding the cream. The alcohol in the wine cooks off and does leave a great flavor but I like to use non-alcoholic wine.

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