Bolognese Sauce is a meat-based sauce that is hearty, rich and full of flavor! Spoon over your favorite pasta or zoodles for an easy weeknight dinner. Freezer-friendly.
I cannot tell you how many times this Bolognese Sauce has saved my butt!
Usually, I double the recipe and save 2 or 3 portions in the freezer. It is a great sauce to make ahead of time and save for the future.
You can prepare so many dishes with this sauce. Toss with pasta (the obvious way), make Pasticho, fill cannelloni, stuff vegetables like eggplants, peppers, or zucchinis, Shepherd’s Pie, papas rellenas… I’ve even used it to make empanadas!
There are several forms and versions of preparing this sauce. Some people add pancetta or bacon; others do a combination of beef and pork meat. I once tried a recipe from an Italian lady, where she added chicken liver… It was very good.
But through the years I’ve created my own version adapted to my family’s taste. Of course, I do not waste the opportunity to add as many vegetables as possible, sometimes very tiny chopped mushrooms or zucchini … the children do not even notice them!
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, (low fat content 90-10 or 93-7)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 3/4 cup red wine (see notes)
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cans (8oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can (15.5oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrot and cook until tender, 5 - 8 minutes.
- Add the ground meat and cook through, breaking it into small pieces using a wooden spoon, but do not brown. Drain off any excess grease, if necessary.
- Add the beef bouillon and stir until completely dissolved. Season with pepper to taste. Stir in the wine and allow it to cook into the meat, about 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, and continue cooking until tomato paste starts to toast, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaf, oregano and basil and mix to incorporate.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for at least 1 hour up to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Flavors will continue to develop the longer you allow the sauce to simmer, so simmer for up to 4 hours if time permits. NOTE: After the first 30 minutes of simmering, taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve or store for later use.
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