The Very Best Bolognese Sauce
The Very Best Bolognese Sauce ever! This tried and true favorite is the perfect Sunday dinner. Simmered for hours, the flavors are bold and beautiful…exactly what a meat sauce should be. Truly comfort food at it’s finest.
I’m not a fan of red sauce (gasp!), which is kind of funny that this is one of my favorite things to make. I’m perfectly content with pasta drizzled with an exceptional olive oil, chopped parsley and grated parmesan. But it’s the whole process of browning the meat and sauteing the onions, carrots and garlic and then letting the whole thing simmer on the stove for hours that’s kind of therapeutic for me. PLUS, it makes sooooo much that I can freeze enough for two more meals….which means that’s two nights off from cooking dinner but we can still have a very satisfying family dinner without ordering take out.
I don’t know if I can technically call this Bolognese, but that’s what we refer to it as in our house. It’s definitely a meat sauce but since I’m not Italian I’m not 100% sure what the difference is except that I don’t add cream to my sauce. And, from what I’ve gathered, a Bolognese contains celery and maybe a few other things that I don’t use. If you know the technical difference between a Bolognese and a Meat Sauce feel free to comment below….I’m very curious!
Either way, this is so bold, hearty and full of savory goodness that you will thank me some day. (Probably when you bust into your freezer stash of “Bolognese – But Not Really Bolognese” Sauce.)
Feel free to substitute ground beef for the veal or pork but I beg you not to sub out the sausage. It adds so much flavor to the sauce, it would be missed. (at least by me.) The leftovers are excellent for morphing into completely different dinners liked this amazing baked gnocchi or this easy pizza recipe….both are excellent for quick weeknight dinners. OR spend a little time in the kitchen and make this super, crazy, insanely tasty lasagna. It’s so good it’s silly.
The Very Best Bolognese Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb ground veal
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb sweet italian sausage, casing removed
- 2 medium Vidalia onions or other sweet onion, diced
- 1 cup of finely diced carrots
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 cup red wine (I used Chianti)
- 2 28 ounce cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes (You can use regular but try to use fire roasted if available, I love Muir Glen!)
- 2 28 ounce cans pureed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large, heavy dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil over med/high heat. Add the ground veal being careful not to crowd the pot. Cook over med/high heat until browned and remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat, add the beef to the pot and cook until browned. Remove with slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the veal. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat and repeat with the pork. Drain all the fat and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage with the spoon and add to the meat mixture. Do not drain the fat.
- Add the diced onions and carrots to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent and softened stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and oregano, continue to cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine to the pot and scrape any brown bits left on the bottom, stir and let the wine cook down for approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Add the meat mixture to the onions and stir to combine. Add all four cans of tomatoes and stir thoroughly. Stir in the parsley, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for approximately 2-3 hours stirring occasionally. Before serving, taste the sauce for seasoning....since this is a large recipe you may need to adjust the sugar, salt and pepper to suit your taste.
Landon got a little impatient while I was shooting the photos….he took a break from the sandbox to steal some pasta. (Note: This photo was from the original post, photos have been updated above as of September 2015)