A good bolognese is one of the easiest dishes to make and one to easily get wrong. The easy is that most of the “getting it right” is cooking bolognese for at least 3 hours. If you really want to taste it at its peak, you will refrigerate it, heat it up and then get is full flavor and understand why this is a classic dish in Italy eaten so many ways.
Today, it’s a simple dish with spaghetti. It’s a great topping for crepes, polenta, wider noodles and inside lasagna. If you’re eating grain free, top it on potatoes, spaghetti squash or just eat it out of the bowl like I do.
I’ve told you about bolognese sauce before, taking up Marcella Hazan’s recipe and that’s still my inspiration for this sort of lighter version. I used mostly veal, threw in some ground pork, but, you could use ground turkey, ground beef etc. If you do use ground turkey, though, please throw in some pancetta or bacon to give some added flavor and fat.
Keep in mind that a true bolognese is not a tomato sauce with meat (the American meat sauce). It’s a meat sauce with some tomato, so in this case, I used diced tomatoes.
You can start this in a heavy dutch oven or big frying pan, and convert over to a crock pot, but whatever you do, don’t thrown all this in a crock pot at the beginning. One of the reasons, I don’t care too much for crock pot cooking is that almost all dish have to be started on top of the stove, and in that case, I just keep the dutch oven on very very very low for several hours. That’s where the crock pot can come in handy.
The only other suggestion I’ll make is to make a triple batch and freeze. If you’re already going to all the trouble of opening up a bottle of wine and chopping vegetables, you might as well the most out of it.
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- 1½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1½ pounds ground veal
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 cups whole milk
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes with juice, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley or fresh basil
- 1 pound spaghetti
- freshly ground parmigiano reggiano
- Melt butter into oil on medium heat.
- Add onions. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add carrots, celery. Saute for five minutes.
- Add meat, breaking up as necessary.
- Once meat is cooked through, add milk, and ground nutmeg.
- Once milk is evaporated, add wine.
- Once wine is cooked down, add tomatoes.
- Cook on low in slow cooker for 6 hours or on top of stove very low for three hours minimum.
- Add in fresh parsley or fresh basil, but remove before serving.
- Serve on pasta of your choice with parmigianna reggiano, freshly grated.
More Great Recipes and Ideas for Bolognese
Bolognese over Polenta from the Paupered Chef
Bolognese with Crepes from Gavin’s Cooking
Green Lasagna with Bolognese from Spinach Tiger
Sloppy Joe’s with Bolognese from Spinach Tiger