The Weekend Gourmet: Streamlined Bolognese Sauce F

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Streamlined Bolognese Sauce

Imagine penne pasta topped with a thick, meaty sauce bursting with flavor. I know what you're thinking..."Wendy, that's gonna take HOURS to cook, and I'm hungry NOW!" What if I told you that you can have a delicious bolognese sauce on the table in about an hour and a half, and most of that time is spent slowly simmering the sauce? Sounds like a dream? It is...a dream come TRUE!! I'm the first to admit that after a busy day at the office, my first inclination is to open a jar of spaghetti sauce and be done with it. But sometimes the only thing that will do is homemade sauce. 

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.  

13 comments:

  1. This totally sounds like a sauce for me!

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  2. Wow! I love recipes like this...so many weeknights with little time to cook. Mmmmmmm.

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  3. Oh, how I love bolognese sauce! Yours looks exceptional! I've never tried it with turkey but that will definitely change. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. Bolognese has always been a favorite and I love it with the turkey. Yummy, thanks!

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  5. FYI...
    The recipe says that this sauce freezes and reheats well. I put the remaining half of this batch in a plastic freezer-safe container for one night next week when I don't want to cook. I'm thinking it'll taste even better!

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  6. are you kidding me!? that is definitely a keeper! it looks gorgeous.. it has my tummy growling as we speak!

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  7. Yum! I love my go to bolognese recipe. Looking forward to trying this version!

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  8. I make a similar recipe for Bolognese with turkey, which makes a lot also. Very versatile and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Hi Wendy! I am visiting from Saturday Swap linky party and I am your newest follower {I think!} I am going to vegetarianize this delicious looking recipe! Looks so good! Thank you for the idea! Have a great weekend.

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  10. @Lisa: Welcome...and thanks for following!! I'll get by to check out your blog this weekend! Most of my recipes can be made veg-friendly since my SIL is veg.

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  11. Right after the accident, my aunt made a huge batch of bolognese sauce. It was so comforting, and I wanted to make my own at home. Thank you for providing the recipe! As the weekend approaches, may your days be full of love and laughter. Thank you for sharing your self, your food and your heart with me week after week. Hugs and love from Austin!

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  12. This looks great! It looks like it has wonderful flavor, and easy for a weeknight meal.

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  13. Wanted to let you know I am showing you some bloggers love on Sunday with my Slow Cooking Sunday post. Can't wait to try this recipe for myself!!!!! And thanks for sharing!!!!

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