Last night was one of those nights, and I think I may have found my go-to bolognese recipe. It has quite a few ingredients, but don't be intimidated -- the sauce actually comes together pretty quickly once you get the veggies chopped and the other ingredients measured out. After that, you simply give it a quick stir and let it simmer away on the stove while you do other things. Best of all? This recipe made a lot of sauce. I had enough leftover to freeze for dinner one night next week...score!
Streamlined Bolognese Sauce
adapted from Real Simple Magazine
Step 1: Place 2 tbs. olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add 1/2 chopped large yellow onion, 1 finely diced celery stalk, 1 finely diced large carrot, and three cloves minced garlic. Saute for approximately 8 minutes.
Step 2: Add three slices chopped bacon and cook for approximately five minutes, until the bacon is rendered and starting to brown. Then add 1 lb. ground turkey and cook until browned.
Step 3: Add 3/4 cup red wine, 3/4 cup milk, 6-ounce can tomato paste, 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 tbs. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tbs. dried), 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous pinch of nutmeg, and 2 tsp. kosher salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: When the sauce begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes minimum. I had time, so I gave it a full hour last night. I gave the sauce a stir every 10 minutes or so, but mostly let it do its thing while I did other stuff. After it's done simmering, the sauce will be meaty and quite thick.
Last night, I served this meaty bolognese over penne pasta. I sprinkled the top with some grated parmesan reggiano, which was the perfect finishing touch.
This bolognese sauce is SO GOOD that you'd swear it had been simmering for hours! It's meaty and full of flavor. You can definitely taste the sweetness of veggies, and the bacon adds a subtle smoky flavor. The red pepper flakes give the sauce a little extra kick, but it's not the least bit overwhelming. This recipe is definitely going into my "keeper" file.