A bowl of spaghetti bolognese is the kind of comfort food that nourishes both the body and the soul, and it's just the recipe to prepare when a hearty, love-filled pasta dish is what you're hungry for.
Spaghetti Bolognese, a Hearty Bowlful of Love
When both my body and my soul are hungry for something truly sustaining—something rich, warming and comforting—little sounds more enticing to me than a warming bowl of pasta that I’ve prepared in my own kitchen.
Spaghetti bolognese is one of those pasta dishes I enjoy very much, because it contains within it all of those delicious flavors that I long for in a hearty pasta dish in which the sauce has gently simmered to perfection.
This recipe speaks of nurture, and in my mind, bolognese is the perfect meal with which one can share their love and their desire to nourish, the most delicious combination of intentions when it comes to cooking.
Bolognese is truly a hearty bowlful of love when it's prepared with delicious ingredients plus an abundance of care and joy in the process, as these are the magical components that can not only be tasted in the finished dish, but felt from within.
The Best Bolognese Begins with the Best Sauce
Bolognese sauce is basically a meat-based sauce that is simmered for an extended period with flavorful ingredients.
Typically, the type of meat with which a bolognese sauce recipe is prepared is ground beef, but often times a combination of ground beef, pork and perhaps veal is used.
Pancetta is also added for extra flavor, as is a little combination of onion, celery and carrot, along with garlic, white wine, tomatoes, and a splash of milk or cream.
For my bolognese recipe I use ground beef along with a sprinkle of pancetta, and finish with a small drizzle of cream for a more velvety sauce.
Here's a peak at my spaghetti bolognese recipe (or just jump to the full recipe further down the page...):
- For extra flavor, I like to begin by slightly crisping the pancetta and then adding in the veggies until they become soft and golden.
- Crumbling in the grass-fed ground beef comes next, followed by the dried herbs, aromatics, the wine and crushed tomatoes.
- To bring as much depth to my bolognese sauce as possible, I allow it to simmer for roughly an hour to develop deep flavor, finishing it with a splash of cream and some fresh herbs before tossing the sauce with warm spaghetti.
The flavors of this spaghetti bolognese recipe are rich and complex, and it sure hits the spot when you're craving a classic homemade pasta dish!
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 518 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
• Olive oil
• 4 ounces pancetta, diced finely
• 1 small onion, diced finely
• 1 large carrot, diced finely
• 1 large rib celery, diced finely
• Freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 8 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 cup white wine
• 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 10 ounces uncooked spaghetti
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
• Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve on side
- To begin, place a large skillet or braising pan over medium heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; once warm, add in the diced pancetta, and cook for about 3 minutes just until it begins to become golden.
- Add in the onion, carrot and celery, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook these together with the pancetta for about 6-7 minutes, or until the veggies become golden and very soft.
- Next, crumble in the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon so that it becomes as fine a crumble as possible, and cook the beef until browned with little to no liquid in the pan.
- Add in the garlic, along with the Italian seasoning and the dried oregano, and stir until things become aromatic; add in the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Pour in the white wine as well as the crushed tomatoes, add a couple more pinches of salt and pepper (taste to see how much you still need), and gently stir to combine; bring the bolognese sauce to a simmer, cover with a lid very slightly askew, then reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- While the bolognese sauce simmers, cook your spaghetti according to package instructions, and keep it warm.
- To finish the sauce, turn the heat off and stir in the heavy cream and add the chopped parsley; check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed, then add the warm spaghetti directly into the sauce and gently toss to combine.
- Serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese on the side, and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for Bolognese:
- All ground beef, or a combination: For my spaghetti bolognese recipe, I prefer to use lean, organic ground beef (85/15); but you can use half ground beef, half ground pork, or half ground beef and equal portions pork and veal. You can even substitute sausage.
- Pancetta for extra flavor: I use a small amount of diced pancetta in the bolognese, but you can certainly omit this if you prefer. Just proceed with sauteing the veggies, in this case.
- Dry white wine: Typically, dry white wine is used in a bolognese sauce recipe, but you can certainly sub red wine if that's what you have on hand. You can even omit it if you prefer, and simply proceed with the next ingredient/step.
- Spaghetti, or other pastas: Simple spaghetti is truly comforting when tossed with the bolognese, but another good option is pappardelle, or other flat, broad pasta.
- Milk or cream: While milk is traditionally used in bolognese sauce, I prefer to add a smaller amount of cream in at the end to enrich the flavor. (I'd rather use less dairy in quantity, yet have it pack a bit more richness.) However, if you still prefer milk, feel free to add that in place of the cream, using about double the amount.