Hearty and Comforting Bolognese Sauce
Every year for my birthday, my siblings either get me fitness or cooking related presents. Let’s just say, they know me well. This year, they got me Missy Robins’s cookbook, “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life” and after reading it cover to cover (yes, I’m a nerd), I got inspired to get in the kitchen and make a Bolognese.
Now, let’s talk about this Bolognese. Initially, I was following the recipe from the cookbook, but as I got cooking, I kind of went off the reservation. I realized I was making tweaks here and there until ultimately, my sauce seemed nothing like the original recipe at all.
But isn’t that what cooking is all about? Experimenting, tasting, having fun, and making something you think is delicious? Well, that’s what happened here and I’m not mad at it. The best part? I have extras in the freezer for whenever I want something warm and comforting.
1 cup olive oil
1.5 lbs ground meat
1 carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cup mushroom, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 cup dry red wine
1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add half the olive oil and all of the meat. Cook the meat until browned (5-8 minutes). Once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to low and warm the remaining olive oil. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and sweat the vegetables, until tender but without color (6-8 minutes). Then, add in the mushrooms and cook until tender (3-5 minutes). Finally, add in the garlic, nutmeg, and cinnamon and sweat for another minute, mixing until the spices are dispersed among all the vegetables
Return the meat to the pot and add the red wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated.
Stir in can of tomatoes and water, if necessary, to cover ingredients. Add thyme and simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes to an hour to allow sauce to reduce and flavors to deepen.
When done, remove thyme sprigs and add salt and pepper to taste.