Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rainy Day Bolognese Sauce

Rainy Days, even in the summer, call for comfort food. Pasta, of course, is the first thing that comes to my mind. And Bolognese sauce is very easy and delicious. And although it takes time, you can make a giant batch and freeze half for another meal. Best yet- it gains flavor every day of leftovers. Bolognese is a great comfort food- whether you have it over pasta, zucchini noodles, throw it on a hoagie for a sloppy joe- it's an all around feel good meal. 

Bolognese Sauce 

1 1/4 lbs ground beef (85/15) 
1 lb of meatloaf mix- usually a mix of veal, pork and beef
1 tbs italian parsley, minced 
2 cups mushrooms, sliced- I used baby bellas- but use what you prefer 

5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped vine ripe tomatoes (appreoximately- more or less is fine) 
1 large yellow onion, minced 
6 small basil leaves, minced
1/4 cup red wine (optional) 

2 1/2 tsp dried oregano (fresh is fine also)
2 tbs tomato paste 
2 tsp salt 
1 tsp black pepper
Couple small pinches red chili flakes (optional) 
1- 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I like San Marzano) 
1- 26.5 oz strained (puréed) tomatoes- I use Pomí brand- it's in a box 
1- 26.5 oz chopped tomatoes- also Pomí brand. (You can sub 2 cups of fresh tomatoes for this) 
2 tbs olive oil 

Massive oven proof pot with lid- Le Crueset Dutch oven works great 
Cutting board 
Chopping knife
Measuring cups/spoons 
Wooden spoon 
Potato masher 

Preheat oven to 300. 

Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium to high heat. Once oil it hot add the onions and allow to cook for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute, while stirring. Next add the mushrooms. The kids don't like mushrooms so I really minced mine up- to add the flavor but without them saying, "what is that?". Cook the mushrooms for a minute or two. 
At this point, add the ground meats and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or so while stirring a couple times. The meat doesn't have to be completely cooked through at this point. Add the red wine, if using, and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. 
Now add the whole peeled tomaotes, juice and everything. Use your potato masher and mush the tomatoes up. Then add the puréed tomatoes, the diced tomatoes and the freshly chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. 
Now it's time to add your seasonings: basil, oregano, italian parsley, red chili flakes (if using), 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. 
Mix everything together and bring to a simmer. Place the lid on top and place the Dutch oven pot into the oven. 

Bake for at least 2 hours. I baked mine for 3 just because I was home. I stirred it about 3 times during this time. So once an hour is good. 

Serve it however you want to enjoy it. I have now eaten two servings of pasta and meat sauce. Oh yea!! Its some good stuff. Xo

Princess Alllie enjoying her penne Bolognese:

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