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Food The Bite:

The Only Bolognese

The Only Bolognese
Bolognese, please!

For my family, a hearty pasta usually means two things…. it’s Sunday and we are craving comfort food. There is just nothing better than Sunday pasta, period! Growing up in an Italian American family, no Sunday transpired without the customary red sauce with heaping amounts of braciola and meatballs bubbling on the stove for hours. But never did we have Bolognese. That was reserved for restaurants. Same idea I suppose but very different in flavor and texture and technique. I have quite a love for Bolognese and had a serious craving last week. I consulted two similar recipes and used them as my guidepost for the method — BA’s Best Bolognese and Marcella Hazan’s recipe from the NY Times — while inserting some of my own intuition. Super delicious and even better the next day!


Adapted from Bon Appetit


2 small onions, diced

4 garlic cloves, smashed and rough chopped

2 celery stalk, diced

2 carrots, peeled, diced

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. ground beef chuck

Kosher salt

4-5 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

⅓ cup tomato paste

1 cup whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed

1 bay leaf

Pinch of finely grated nutmeg

1 cup (or more) chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

1 lb. of your favorite pasta

grated Parmesan


Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Break beef into small clumps and add to pot; season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is lightly browned 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a medium bowl.

Cook pancetta in pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pancetta has released some of its fat and is crisp, 6–8 minutes. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft 6–8 minutes.

Return beef to pot and pour in wine. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until wine is almost all evaporated, 12–15 minutes. Add crushed potato, tomato paste, bay leaf, and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.

Pour stock and milk into pot; season with salt. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until meat is very, very tender, 2 hours. If the liquid reduces before the meat is completely tender, add an extra ½ cup stock and continue cooking. Season to taste with salt.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling and heavily salted water. Cook pasta to al dente using package directions.

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