Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Bolognese Blues

I have the Bolognese blues.

This weekend's Bolognese sauce battle has been in the works for months at my request, and I am home instead of being in Connecticut at a farm house with my beloved families (my two friends since grade school and their parents).

The head cold I had from 3 weeks ago manifested itself into my body, and I am on the mend from not having an appetite for a week now and only eating simple foods (hence lack of posts here on A Twist of Spaghetti). After getting scolded this morning by my doctor for not taking care of myself and being run-down, I sent my beautiful Bolognese sauce to battle without me.
I slept throughout the day and will sleep early tonight, drinking lots of water in between.

I did make some pasta to be topped with my sauce so I could post it here. I had a few bites, and I have to say this is a winner. I think I have a good shot at first place this despite my absence and hope that my family enjoys it. I miss them so very much tonight.

Bolognese sauce is a wonderfully rich "sugo" that takes time and attention to make right and perfect. You cannot rush the sugo, and the trick is to layer the sauce at each phase with lots of flavor. This is my recipe adapted from others - I am proud of how it has grown since I started making it over 8 years ago! It really is better the day after since it has time to sit with all the flavors and aromatics.

Amy's Winning Bolognese Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
2 slices of thick, center cut bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
2 pounds of ground beef, pork, and veal mixture
1 cup dry red wine (I used Shiraz)
1 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 14 ounce cans of beef broth
1 1/2 cups canned tomato puree
3 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
3 splashes of low sodium soy sauce
splash of heavy cream or half and half
grated pecorino romano, for serving

1) Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon and saute until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
2) Add onion, celery, carrots, thyme, and sage, sauteing for 5 minutes.
3) Add ground meat mixture to brown, breaking up meat with back of fork, for about 10 minutes.
4) Add wine and bay leaves, simmering until liquid is slightly reduced, 10 minutes.
5) Add broth and tomato puree. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 2 hours, stirring constantly.
6) Once sauce has thickened, add the splashes of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and the nutmeg.
7) Blend sauce with a few pulses in the food processor for a good texture.
8) Splash in some cream before serving and top with grated pecorino romano. You can use whatever pasta you wish...I really like mine with rigatoni or rotelli.


  1. I have always wanted to try making my own Bolognese sauce, but have been intimated by the process, but now I am reminded again how wonderful it must be. I so must make this, for it looks fabulous!

  2. I love, love, love bolognese sauce, for me it's one of the best way to eat a pasta, and yours look delicious :)

  3. Aw, get better soon! I'm battling a cold myself, maybe I need to try the Bolognaise cure :)

  4. Sorry you're feeling so bad!
    I am crazy about Bolognese; the best sauces take time but are well worth the effort!

  5. I too have neve made bolognese sauce. I am convinced by the loveliness of yours to give this a go. Hope you feel better soon.

  6. This looks very comforting and hope it made you feel better. Hope you'll be better soon!

  7. This bolognese looks so very delish and sounds incredible!
    Hope you get better soon Aimee!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Hope your are feeling much better. The sauce definitely sounds like a winner!

  9. I sure hope you are on the mend by now. The pasta will definitely make you feel better.

  10. I hope you are feeling better. It sucks not to have an appetite for a foodies like us! Maybe you just need a little rest. Take some vacation or sick days and relax and get better!
    By the way, I read your previous post and would love to read her book. I think you are great at recommending some book. a few months ago, I bought the book you recommended. " Crema de Colorado"! I haven't tried any recipe from it yet but I will! and Thank you for your recommendation!

  11. get back to good health soon, aimee!
    as for the sauce, i'm sure it's pretty much tweaked to perfection by now. it sounds phenomenal. :)