1 medium red onion, chopped
2 medium carrots or 8-10 baby carrots, peeled, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
4 oz diced pancetta
1 cup dry red wine
1 tbsp beef base
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 oz whole peeled tomatoes (or try the tomato sauce recipe below)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups water or beef broth
1 cup whole milk
Gigli pasta, or pasta of your choice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, for garnishing
Prep the Veggies: Finely chop onion and celery. Peel and grate carrots. For quick chopping, use a food processor or blender. Mince the garlic.
Cook the Pancetta: Over medium heat, cook pancetta in a large Dutch oven until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pot and set aside on a paper towel.
Sauté the Veggies: Increase heat to medium-high and add butter and olive oil to the Dutch oven with the pancetta grease. Add your chopped onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic to the mirepoix and cook for another minute before adding ground beef chuck. Season with salt and pepper.
Brown the Meat: Add beef and sausage to the veggies. Cook over medium high heat while stirring constantly until the meat is browned nicely and the water has evaporated, about 6 – 7 minutes. Note: Make sure there is no liquid in the pan at this point! Stir in the tomato paste and beef bouillon. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Deglaze the Pan: Deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine and scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pan (also known as fond).
Add Additional Ingredients: Crush the peeled tomatoes with your hand or a masher. Add the water (or beef stock), milk, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot, stirring well.
Simmer on Low: Once simmering, reduce heat to low and continue simmering for about 2 -3 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and sauce has thickened.
If the sauce reduces before the beef is tender then add a little bit of water and continue cooking. If meat is tender before sauce reduces, then continue simmering uncovered. Once meat is tender and sauce has thickened, discard bay leaves and season to taste.
Cook the Pasta: Cook pasta of your choice (I used Gigli) until al dente or according to package instructions.
Assemble: Transfer pasta to Bolognese sauce along with 1/4-1/2 cup of pasta water if needed. Mix well.
Serve on a platter topped with fresh basil, grated parmesan cheese or diced green onions. Enjoy!
For the Homemade Sauce:
1-2 lbs. Fresh San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
6-7 Garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup Fresh basil leaves
1 Shallot, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Preheat oven to 420°F. Wash the San Marzano tomatoes thoroughly. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves and whole shallot. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes, or until soft and charred on the tops.
While tomatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized pot/saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers (capsicum); cook while occasionally stirring, until the onion is transparent (about 6-7 minutes). Stir the tomato paste through the pepper and onion; pour in the wine; season with extra salt; cover and bring to a boil.
Next, place the roasted tomatoes and garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until well blended and smooth. Poor contents into the sauce pan and reduce heat to low; simmer for about 15 minutes
Finally add fresh basil leaves and bring the sauce to your desired consistency. The sauce is ready to use for your favorite pizzas or pasta dishes.