It’s gravy, not sauce. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Whatever you want to call it, I call it delicious. Bolognese isn’t your average jar of pasta sauce. It’s rich and decadent with a subtle creaminess that you won’t find in a supermarket sauce. I will admit, there are a lot of ingredients and it isn’t the fastest dish you can prepare. But, the good news is you can make it ahead of time or even freeze it to serve later.

Start by sauteing finely diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large pan of half the olive oil on medium high heat until softened, but not browned. Set it aside.

mirepoix for pasta bolognese

A fancy word for this mixture is mirepoix.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and saute pancetta until slightly browned. Add the ground beef and cook until brown, then return the vegetables to the pan and stir. Add white wine and cook for about 5 minutes. Now add thyme, oregano and basil. Right about now, the house smells amazing and people start wandering into the kitchen hoping for a sample. Quickly shoo them away so that you can continue making magic.

Stir in the chicken stock, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Be sure to blend the tomato paste well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Now season the gravy with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. And now for the best part: stir in heavy cream. Doesn’t everything taste better with a little cream in it? Continue to let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pasta Bolognese Gravy Close up

Serve the bolognese over your favorite pasta with fresh parmesan and a crusty Italian bread. Delish!

Pasta Bolognese Plate Aerial View

Pasta Bolognese pairs just as well with a dry white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, as it does with a nice red.

 

Pasta Bolognese
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 lbs lean ground sirloin
  2. 4 thick slices pancetta, diced
  3. 1 yellow onion, diced
  4. 1 carrot, diced
  5. 1 celery stalk, diced
  6. 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  7. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1 cup chicken stock
  9. 1 cup dry white wine
  10. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  11. 1/4 cup tomato paste
  12. 1/4 heavy cream
  13. 1 tsp thyme
  14. 1 tsp oregano
  15. 1 tsp salt
  16. 1/2 tsp basil
  17. 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  18. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large pan of half the olive oil on medium high heat until softened, but not browned. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and saute pancetta until slightly browned.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until brown.
  4. Return vegetables to the pan, stir.
  5. Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add thyme, oregano and basil.
  7. Stir in chicken stock, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
  9. Stir in heavy cream and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Serve over your favorite pasta with parmesan and a crusty Italian bread.
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