There are few pasta recipes in my arsenal that I reserve for special occasions. Most are for delicious weeknight dinners but Pasta Bolognese is for that Sunday supper that you look forward to all week long. It's the meal that takes time but turns out so delicious that every minute is worth it. That's the meal that comes with this recipe.
What makes a good Bolognese Sauce?
The bolognese starts with a base of fatty pancetta cooked down to render the fat and then adding minced beef. This combination gives the sauce a lot of robust flavor and a balanced flavor as well. This sauce is also prepared with dry wine and milk, which is a fairly unique combination but helps create a creamy tomato sauce and rounds out the flavor of the sauce without being overly acidic.
What Pasta to use
One of the traditional pastas used with bolognese sauce is tagliatelle, which is similar in size to fettuccine but a bit narrower. In this recipe I decided to us pappardelle as that's what I had on hand and I like the way it looks in photographs as well. Any flat pasta noodle will work well however spaghetti noodles or rotini can also be used. When choosing a noodle you want to make sure that it has enough surface area for the sauce to cling to or else you'll be left with a bowl of sauce at the end of your meal.
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Make it a meal
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Romantic? Check. Absolutely delicious? You bet! This recipe for Pasta Bolognese is a classic for a reason and you'll love it too!
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 1 Celery Stalk Chopped
- 1 Carrot Chopped
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 1/2 Pound Pancetta finely chopped
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/3 Cup Tomato Paste
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Pound Pappardelle Cooked Al Dente
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a large dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook until onion is transparent and carrots have softened.
Add in ground beef and pancetta. Cook until browned and fat is rendered out. While cooking, break beef apart with a wooden spoon until it is in small clumps. Remove excess fat.
Add wine and cook uncovered until liquid has reduced and pot is almost dry.
Add tomato paste and mix to fully incorporate. Season with nutmeg, oregano and add the bay leaf. Stir in chicken stock and milk. Let simmer uncovered for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Meat should be tender and if the liquid evaporates too quickly, add additional chicken stock to the sauce.
Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Cook pappardelle to al dente. Serve sauce hot over pasta. Top with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!
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