Melissa's Bolognese Sauce

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When I was assigned I Was Born to Cook for the latest Blogger's Choice Recipe Swap, first I audibly exclaimed "YES!", then I started searching for something Italian to make. I mean Melissa is 3/4 Italian, so if I wanted something authentic this was about as close as I was going to get. 

Melissa's Bolognese Sauce was recipe choice #2. Recipe #1 was Pasta e Fagioli, however, I made the fatal mistake of using an un-smoked ham hock. After my additions to bump up the flavor, the resulting soup, while delicious, no longer resembled Melissa's recipe. Note to self, when it says smoked, use smoked!

Not quite ready, still simmering and reducing
I am so glad I was forced on to recipe #2 because this was fantastic! I must confess that I have never made bolognese before, as I'm not big into meat sauce (or so I thought). I also never started a sauce with mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots), and I'm really struggling to think of when I've made a sauce that included wine. That's a lot of confessions in one post! Having said of all that, I realize that I haven't had good meat sauce until now either.

Not only was this fantastic, this was so much fun and easy to make! I felt as if a friend was reading the recipe to me as I was reading through it. Melissa cooks a lot like I do, a pinch of this, 1/2 cup (maybe a little more) of that...that's exactly how I cook. I've actually found it difficult to discipline myself to measure in order to document recipes here on the blog.

If you haven't had good meat sauce, make this for Sunday dinner. Your family will thank you (and you'll thank Melissa like I am!) for dinner and the leftovers which were equally good, if not better.

Here is what you'll need:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb ground sirloin beef  
  • 1/2 cup (maybe a bit more) dry white or red wine (I used white)
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil and crushed red pepper. Once oil is heated, add celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring as needed, until soft and beginning to brown. Once the mushrooms begin to brown add salt and pepper. Cook about 8 minutes.

Add ground beef and break up using a wooden spoon. Salt and pepper, and stir meat until it is all browned (no pink remains). Add wine, stir with a wooden spoon to de-glaze the pan, and cook about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and basil. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring as needed, until sauce reduces a bit, about 20 minutes. Serve over pasta. Serves 4-6.

Source: Slightly adapted from I Was Born to Cook

Comments (3)

I love bolognese.

Looks great!! Thanks for being part of the recipe swaps!

nice posting. thanks for sharing