Saturday, August 20, 2016

Italian Night - Best Bolognese

Made with healthy olive oil replacing some of the butter, a lower sugar white wine, and lots of veggies this is an incredibly delicious sauce, that is worth the few extra minutes it takes to assemble and the extra time cooking..  Lacking the artificial ingredients and preservatives of many jarred sauces - you'll make this again and again.  Serve with pasta or zuchinni "zoodles" if you are cutting carbs or gluten.

B.'s Best Bolognese

1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons salted butter
1-1/2 cup carrots, cut into small pieces with food processor
1 stalk celery cut into pieces
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme eaves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
several grinds of fresh cracked pepper
dash or two of salt
1/4 teaspoon  mild hot sauce:  I use
Cowboy Crooner flavor (or substitute dash of  crushed red pepper)
1 can (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
1 cup whole Milk (NOT cream)


Heat oil and butter until butter is melted..  Add carrots, celery onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove and set aside.

Set heat to high and add the ground meat a quarter at a time, stirring and breaking up lumps with a spoon between each addition.  This allows it's liquid to evaporate which is key if you want nicely browned, not boiled meat. For the best flavor you want your meat to caramelize, with a few crispy bits (for me this was about 8 minutes)  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  When you see the meat start to crisp up and caramelize, lower the heat to medium and cook an additional 7-8 minutes. It's OK if there's still a tiny bit of pink and this will simmer a long time. Drain off any excessive liquid but do not remove meat and clean up the pan, you want a few teaspoons of juice and the cooked-on bits to deglaze the pan with the wine.

Add dry white wine, and using a wooden spoon scrape up all the brown bits stuck to the pan, pushing the meat around to incorporate it.  When you are done (about two minutes) the wine wine will evaporate (you want flavor, not liquid).

Add  the sauted veggies and remaining ingredients and bring to the barest of boils, then lower the heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer slowly, half covered for 3-4 hours.  Add an additional half cup milk, beef broth or water, it it starts to dry out too much.  The final sauce, should be thick, more meat than tomatoes.

Serve with grated cheese and a nice glass of wine.


  1. Can I come over for dinner? Will make white chocolate martinis and even sing some opera for my supper!!

    1. I would love that. My husband was playing in an orchestra in austria when he was 18 (but he wanted to be an engineer), so we love classical music in this house (and martinis)

  2. Martinis and pasta - sounds perfect, I am on my way!


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