Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bolognese Sauce

What's better than the smell of a big pot of sauce slowly simmering in your kitchen? Especially this sauce, which gets extra love from some bacon! It's thick, it's hearty, it's easy to make, and it tastes so darn good. I haven't bought jarred sauce in years because I always like to make my own and freeze it in small portions to have on hand for a quick dinner. I've switched up my sauce recipes over the years and I think this may be my new go-to when I want a good bolognese. On top of being delicious, it's fairly healthy, at just 3 points plus per half cup serving. Can't beat that!

Bolognese Sauce
Recipe adapted very slightly from Skinnytaste

4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon - that's what I used because it was cheaper)
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/2 cup carrots, minced
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1/4 cup red wine
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup half & half

In a large pot (I used my Dutch oven), cook the pancetta or bacon over low heat until the fat renders/melts. You're not looking to completely cook the bacon or get it crispy; you just want a lot of the grease to cook out so that there's more red/pink parts of the bacon left than the white fatty parts. This took about 8 - 10 minutes to get to the stage I was looking for. Increase the heat to medium-low and add butter, onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add ground beef and season it with salt and pepper. Once meat is browned, add the wine and cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.

Add tomatoes and the bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the half & half and parsley and cook just a few minutes longer.

Makes about 8 cups.  

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