Monday, March 21, 2011

La Mamma said there'd be days like this: Lazy Day Bolognese Sauce

So as all Italians and many enlightened Americans know, a true Bolognese sauce is a matter of love. You gotta love it, because for a real honest to goodness sauce, you are talking hours of simmering. And while I do love me some authentic Bolognese (and my recipe is pretty excellent if I don't mind sayin so myself - but we will save it for another post) sometimes I'm just ...what's the word...well, lazy. Sometimes I really just don't have 4 hours to sit around to watch a pot boil. This casalinga* sometimes has got some DOLLA DOLLA BILZ to make.  
*Casalinga = Italian for housewife
Or in my case Euros ... which is techically way cooler considering the exchange rate blows.... but still Euros doesn't sound nearly as cool as DOLLA DOLLA BILLZ. And those Euros, they slip out of your fingers. My theory is that they are so colorful and pretty it makes it feel like Monopoly money. And how are you supposed to "Make It Rain" with the Euro coin anyways? You gotta take out some bigger denominations (sucks) or risk taking the stripper's eye out/invoke a biblical stoning to punish her for her slutacious ways...

Cooler than
 Anyways....... clearly got waaaay sidetracked here. What was I talking about? Oh yes, Bolognese sauce. So, sometimes you don't have the time or patience for an authenthic sauce. So I developed a little "highlights reel" recipe for ya. Got the basic flavors, but ready in 1/4 the time. So without further ado, my recipe for ... 


6 ounces (150 g) ground beef - not too lean or the sugo will be too dry
4 ounces (100 g) ground Italian sausage - if you can only find it in a casing make sure to squeeze out and mash up yourself
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 of a medium sized onion, minced or 2 shallots, minced
half a carrot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup dry red wine, preferably Chianti
2 small or 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes- San Marzano variety preferably if you can find them
1/2 a cup of milk (preferably whole, at least 2%, leave the skim for your cereal please)
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt

1. Mince you onion/shallots, carrot, and garlic. In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion and carrot and heat until onion starts to caramelize (about 5-7 minutes). Then add in the beef and sausage and heat until all the meat is browned. Add the pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the meat. Finally after the meat is browned add in the garlic, and simmer for an additional 3 minutes until the garlic looks browned but not burned.

2. Add the 1/2 cup of red wine to the meat and reduce liquid by half.
3. Now add your can/cans of tomatoes, crushing the whole tomatoes by hand and dropping them into the sauce, as well as adding the tomato liquid from the rest of the jar.
4. On medium heat, let sauce simmer for about 30-45 minutes or longer if you have the time. The sauce should look thick and meaty as the tomato liquid has boiled down significantly, this is key.

5. Add in the 1/2 cup of milk and 2 Tablespoons butter, stir, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

And there ya have it! A quick (relatively) Bolognese ready to pair with your favorite pasta. A personal favorite of mine is Bucatini (It's like spaghetti with a hole in the middle), as I paired it with here in the photo.


  1. I love a great bolognese! I've perfected mine over the last few years but pretty much it's my own hybrid of what a like and Mario Batalli's recipe.

    How great is it that you're living in Italy!?? It's only the best country in the world (to holiday anyway, I've personally never lived there) and I even just declared that in my last blog post.

  2. mmmmmmmmmm. thanks for posting this! I lived in italy for about 6 months in 2006. Time of my life. Definitely making this soon for nostalgia's sake.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I never made bolognese before but I love ITALIAN FOOD ;)

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