Bolognese sauce comes originally from Bologna, which is the same place baloney comes from. That makes me feel free to take a lot of liberties with Bolognese sauce, because I know however far I veer from the traditional recipe, I’m just working within the tradition of making convenient Bolognese recipes. And this easy Bolognese sauce is super-convenient and easy enough that even if you rarely cook, you’ll have a tough time messing it up.
The ingredients are pretty straightforward–we like to do half beef-half pork which makes for a really flavorful sauce that’s not as rich as it would be if you used all pork. However, if you prefer to do all beef or all pork, feel free. You might also improvise with different herbs, mushrooms, or even a little bacon–all of which are sometimes used in Bologna and, more importantly might be sitting around your kitchen.
Easiest Bolognese Sauce Ever!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 quart high-quality crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 large sprig rosemary
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions for 5 minutes, until translucent and fragrant, add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the meat and cook for 8 minutes, until the meat is browned and releases some of the fat. Tip the pan and spoon out all but 3 tablespoons of the fat. Lower heat to medium, and add 1/2 the can of tomatoes, the wine, a generous pinch of salt, a few twists of pepper and the rosemary sprig. When the mixture is starting to bubble, turn the heat to medium low, and simmer for 1-2 hours. The longer it simmers, the better the sauce. Stir intermittently, and add small amounts of the remaining tomatoes each time. The sauce with thicken considerably–add more tomatoes or wine as you see fit. Before serving, checking salt levels and adjust. Remove the rosemary sprig, stir in the parsley and Parmesan, and serve over rigatoni, thinning the sauce with a couple teaspoons of the pasta water.