I’d never made pasta bolognese. We weren’t sure if we’d ever even eaten a true pasta bolognese. The closest we’d ever gotten was marinara sauce with ground beef, which as we found out in our recipe research, is not even close to a pasta bolognese.
This recipe is from the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook and was cross-referenced with a Mario Batali recipe so we’ve got on pretty good authority we’re approaching authentic with this one. We had to make a few minor modifications (bacon in place of pancetta), but good golly pasta bolognese is good! Meaty comfort in a stock pot, real pasta bolognese kicks Ragu‘s ass.
Pasta Bolognese, adapted from the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook
4 oz bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 1/2 cups milk
3 T tomato paste
1/4 cup cream
parsley and parmesan for serving
In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon. Once the bacon has released some of its fat, add the vegetables. Saute the vegetables until they have softened and add the garlic. Remove the vegetables and bacon from the pan and set aside.
Brown the beef and pork in the same pan. Cook 10 – 15 minutes, until the meat is browned. Add the wine, herbs and vegetables to the meat. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and let the liquid evaporate.
Once most of the liquid has evaporated, deglaze with the stock and milk. Add the tomato paste. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, 30 minutes to an hour. Season with salt and pepper.
Before serving, add the cream and simmer for a few minutes.
Serve over pasta garnished with parmesan and parsley.