How to make Bolognese sauce; tips and trics
Whenever I make a pasta dish with Bolognese sauce it’s sure to be a success. I have never had any people who didn’t like it. And more importantly; my (and almost all) kids love it!
This recipe is an improved version of what I used to make. After my sister-in-law Ilse went on a cooking vacation in Italy she brought back this recipe of an authentic Bolognese. It’s authentic, delicious and (maybe most important) very easy to make. If you have time, make this sauce ahead of time so it can rest for a bit and develop more flavour. It’s usually even better the next day…
Ingredients for 4 adults (it’s a great sauce to freeze or reheat the next day)
- 500g minced meat (I always use beef but you could use a mixture of beef and pork meat)
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- 2 stock cubes chicken
- 160 g concentrated tomato paste (in the small cans or glass jars)
- 600 ml red wine (use wine you already had open, like to drink while cooking or isn’t expensive)
- 10 stalks (1 whole package) of celery
- 100 g pancetta in cubes (or use bacon)
- fresh parsley
- 2 leeks
- olive oil
And ofcourse pasta (preferably spaghetti) to go with it. Cook that according to the package. It will help if you put half an peeled onion in the cooking water. You don’t need to add oil (doesn’t help at all), just a pinch of salt.
Tutorial; how to clean and chop leek:
- Wash, peel and cut all the vegetables finely. Save half of the onion for the water to boil the pasta.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a thick based pan. Fry the pancetta and minced meat loose and brown on medium heat.
- Add the carrot, celery, half the onion and leek to the meat and let it fry for a bit while stirring regularly.
- Add the stock cubes and tomato paste. Stir until well combined.
- Add the wine, stir in well and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. In this time the alcohol will evaporate and the sauce will thicken. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick.
- Taste to see if it needs salt and pepper (probably not).
If you want more vegetables in the sauce (making it less authentic) you could do that. I often add a zucchini and paprika and sometimes even broccoli, cauliflower or whatever veg I have left in my fridge.
This is my staple dish if we have many guests coming. Because I can easily prepare it ahead of time, everyone likes it and it looks good on the dinner table. With many guests just add a nice green salad and some good bread. If we really have lots of people coming I even make it without any veggies. Than I add grilled veggies (I grill them than place in a oven dish to keep warm) as a side dish and the before mentioned salad and bread.
To make lasagna I use the base of this recipe but without the wine (water instead), tomato paste and bacon. I use tinned tomatoes instead of tomato paste and add zucchini.I also add 3 bay leaves that will simmer for some time in the sauce. And than layer it into a baking form starting with the sauce, than pasta sheet, sauce etc ending with sauce and topping it with gated cheese (I usually use old Dutch cheese) and mozzarella.