Bolognese (bollo - nyay - zay) is named after the Italian city of it’s origin, Bologna. Ground beef and a little patience turns a hearty red sauce into a wonderfully thick and meaty sauce. Carrots add a hint of sweetness. You can make this sauce ahead and jar it for later use over pasta, as a pasta bake, or lasagna.
- Start with sweating a diced onion, carrot and garlic. You can either finely dice these, or sometimes I use a mandolin on it’s thinnest setting. Using a little bit of olive oil, you want to soften all the veggies.
- In another skillet. Brown the ground beef on medium high heat, mincing as you go with a wooden spatula. Get the meat as finely broken up as possible. As soon as the last trace of pink goes away, turn off the heat.
- When the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes. A can of generic diced tomatoes will work, but I use jarred San Marzano tomatoes, notoriously the best sauce tomatoes around.
- Add the basil and the dry spices. Then allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes and reduce some of the liquid. At this point I like to use an immersion blender to homogenize the consistency of the sauce.
- Add the minced beef into the sauce pot. Allow the sauce to gently simmer uncovered. Bolognese should be very thick, so you’ll need to evaporate a lot of the water in the liquid. The result will be a thick dark red sauce that will stick to the pasta. The tomatoes will start out bright red and darken as it cooks down. I try to allow this sauce to gently bubble for at least an hour.
- Serve immediately over hot spaghetti or rigatoni, shown, with grated pecorino romano.