Easy Pasta Bolognese Recipe
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My Easy Pasta Bolognese recipe is an upscale version of spaghetti and meat sauce and the amazing depth of flavor is worth the little extra effort!
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion (minced)
- 2 carrots (peeled and cut in small dice)
- 1 small hot Italian pepper ( minced (if you don't have one you can use red pepper flakes, about 1/2 tsp)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground Angus beef (85%)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 26 ounces crushed or pureed Italian tomatoes (I like San Marzano tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (from a tube that you should always have in your fridge)
- 0.5 cup red wine, Marsala, or cognac
- 2 bay leaves
- a bunch of fresh thyme, leaves removed (at least 3 Tbsp)
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 0.5 cup of heavy cream
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (not traditional, but my secret ingredient)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound papardelle pasta
- fresh Parmigiano Reggiano
- fresh thyme leaves
- Cover the bottom of a heavy pot with olive oil and saute the onion, carrots, pepper and garlic for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. This is an important step towards developing the special flavors of the sauce, so don't skip it. Add more oil if the vegetables start to stick and stir frequently.
- Add in the ground meats and cook until they are browned. While it is browning, break up the meat well, so there are no large chunks. Then add in the wine, tomatoes, and paste, along with the bay leaves and the fresh thyme leaves. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste (start with 1 tsp of each)
- Cover and simmer for about 2 hours on a low heat. Add the cream and Worcestershire sauce during the last half hour of cooking. Leave the top off during that time to thicken it.
- When the sauce is done, remove the bay leaves, and check the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if you like. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Cook the pasta to an al dente stage according to the package directions and drain. Reserve a cup or so of the cooking liquid in case you need to loosen the sauce later.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss with tongs to coat, then heap into big pasta bowls and garnish with some fresh cheese and thyme.