Traditional Bolognese Recipe

March 19, 2012

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Since transitioning into a more gluten free life style, we do not eat nearly as much pasta as we have in the past. I am not complaining. With spring around the corner, pasta is the furthest thing on my weekly meal plan. Instead, grilled proteins and vegetables are the focus from now until the end of summer.

It’s rare that one can duplicate that wonderful, meaty sauce found in some of our cities best Italian restaurants. But, I think I have. The first time I fed this to my kids, they wanted to know if I had gotten take out from one of our favorites, Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi. I was flattered. Three kinds of meats, wine, veggies, tomatoes, and stock, all simmered on top of the stove for hours. The house smells wonderful and the meals attached to it are wholesome, nutritious, and costs pennies to make.

I always triple this recipe, keep some in the fridge for an easy weeknight meal and freeze (I use these or these to freeze)  the rest in 1 quart size containers. In tripling it, I get anywhere from 7-8 quarts. Using all organic meats, homemade stock, and San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes, I can serve my family of 5, with leftovers for the next day’s lunch, for just under five bucks!

Traditional Bolognese Recipe
My kids love this served over a wide pasta noodle, but I personally love it over a bowl of millet or pan fried polenta cakes. Top with fresh, grated Parmesan Reggiano and some chopped, fresh basil. It’s a full meal when served with a Caesar Salad and some Kale Chips.
yield: 7-8 quarts

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 medium, yellow onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
12 ounces organic, ground chuck
12 ounces, organic, ground veal
6 ounces, organic, ground turkey
2 large garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces dry white wine
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces homemade chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound pasta (I use quinoa pasta)

• rough chop your onion, carrot, and celery. add it to the workbowl of your food processor. pulse 10-14 times until your vegetables are finely diced.
• in a large dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. add the diced vegetables. cook over moderate heat, stirring until soft, 6-8 minutes. remove the mixture to a clean bowl.
• heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pot. add the beef, veal, and turkey. using a potato masher, break up the meat, so it can evenly brown, about 5 minutes. you know when the meat is done when the meats are no longer pink.
• return the cooked vegetables to the pan, add the minced garlic. cook for 1 minute, stirring the whole time.
• add the wine. turn heat up to high and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. stir occassionally to avoide burning the bottom of the pan.
• stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano, and bay leaf. season with salt and pepper. bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
• turn heat down to simmer and partially cover the pot. simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
• when ready, turn off heat and discard bay leaf.
• generally, I triple the recipe. it’s one of our favorite freezer meals.
• once the entire pot is completely cooled, ladle into quart sized containers. store in the freezer for up to two months.
•fill each container almost to the top (leaving 3/4 – 1″ space from the top of the container). when frozen the contents will expand. If you fill it all the way to the top, you may find shattered glass in your freezer. Trust me, I have been there!

Related Bolognese Posts around the Web:
Twice Cooked Gnocchi with Chorizo Bolognese – Wholesome Cook
Lasagna Bolognese – Simply Recipes
Super Easy Pasta Bolognese – Manifest Vegan
Spaghetti Bolognese – The Hunt for Melbourne’s Best Bolognese

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marla {family fresh cooking} March 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

Looks fabulous Susan!


2 Nancy@acommunaltable March 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

I love homemade bolognese sauce – recently made Barbara Lynch’s and this one sounds similar – they are such a lifesaver for busy weeknights!!


3 Lucy Lean March 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hi Susan – this looks really delicious – did you see cook’s illustrated recently did a taste test on canned tomatoes and San Marzano didn’t do well? Better to buy Muir Glen Organic – much richer flavor, less water and made in America x


4 Susan March 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Good to know, Lucy! In the past I have not been in love with the Muir Glen, but must give them another try!


5 Brooke @ Food Woolf March 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

What a great recipe! I’m currently gluten free too. I can’t believe what a difference it’s making in my health/body/energy! Beautiful to know I’m not alone in cutting down on the stuff I love!


6 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] March 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I am bookmarking this. Looks absolutely mouthwatering!


7 Esi March 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

It is so worth the time and effort to make this sauce. I love your freezing tips too!


8 Kim March 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I love having bolognese sauce in the freezer… It’s a weeknight saver!


9 aida mollenkamp March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

Bolognese is one of my ultimate comfort foods and this one looks great, Susan! Oh, and I haven’t been to Giorgio Baldi in years — thanks for reminding me about that place!


10 Judy@Savoring Today March 22, 2012 at 9:38 am

Bolognese is a family favorite around here too. We also eat less pasta than we used to and have switched over to gluten-free whenever possible. Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta has become our favorite brand of spaghetti–we like the texture better than any brown rice pasta we’ve tried. Your bolognese looks wonderful!


11 Susan March 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Hi Judy, I have been trying quinoa and brown rice pastas, all with success. The other night I whipped up a baked mac ‘n cheese using brown rice penne(perfect way to disguise) and everyone devoured! I love that your shower was primarily gluten free – I am sure your guest were appreciative!


12 Kristina Vanni March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

This is a great classic to have around! So flavorful and great flavors! Thanks for sharing.


13 Russell June 21, 2012 at 5:33 am

This looks so good. For me there is nothing better than a big bowl of spaghetti bolognese.


14 Susan June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am

Hi Russell! There really is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta of any kind! Thanks for popping by!


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