Friday, June 8, 2012

Beef Bolognese

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned to you that I love Italian food.  And despite the fact that bolognese is sort of comfort food and the fact that it is summer, I really want you to make this sauce.  We actually had rain last weekend when I made this, and it was a cold rain rather than the humid, sticky rain that we normally get in the summer here in Ontario.  So, I was craving something warm and delicious.  And what is better than a comforting Sunday night dinner? 

This recipe is adapted from the lovely and talented Bev, of Bev Cooks.  It's hard to find fault with the food that Bev cooks, everything on her blog is so fresh and delicious.  My only "improvement" on this recipe - more wine.  And San Marzano tomatoes.  I went to the little Italian market in my neighbourhood for those (look for the ones that say "certified D.O.P.").  The more wine idea came from a family friend of ours who told me that he usually just replaces any liquid in a dish with wine. So if it says 3/4 cup chicken broth, he uses 3/4 cup wine.  Pretty genius if you ask me!  And then you enjoy a glass of the leftover wine with your Sunday night dinner and life is good (just make sure that you are cooking with a wine that you would also like to drink).

Beef Bolognese

Adapted slightly from Bev Cooks

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 red wine (I think mine was a Cab Sauv)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh basil (plus extra for garnish)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 pound rigatoni pasta
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh parmesan for garnish
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned all over, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, along with the paprika, cinnamon, and crushed red pepper.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the veggies have softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 more minute.  Add the wine and allow to simmer for about a minute.

Crush the whole tomatoes in a food processor.  Then add the crushed tomatoes, stock, honey, herbs, and worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  With about 10 minutes left, add the cherry tomatoes. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce. Toss to combine.

Serve bolognese garnished with more fresh basil and lots of parmesan cheese.


  1. I have not made a Bolognese sauce in probably 30 years since i always make meatballs. But i will be trying this one soon as it sounds and looks so delicious! Thanks Bella!

  2. I loveee italian food too!!! This bowl of bolognese is calling me so badly...heheh

  3. omg yum! that bolognese sounds so delicious!

  4. This looks wicked good. I mean off the charts, I wish I had a bowl right now good.

  5. It was cold and rainy in Connecticut too and I was craving Italian. I made meatballs but I would have gone for a big bowl of this as well. Looks delicious.


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