Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bolognese sauce

Yesterday, I shared with you the wonderful world of homemade noodles...but noodles aren't much without a homemade sauce! I have made a couple other homemade sauces and done some canning between Laura's spagetti sauce and my own concoction, so that I have jars of homemade sauce at home all the time, but this time we wanted something FRESH!

Naturally, I searched for as healthy a recipe I could find, and ended my search at a blog that I can't even count how many things I've tried....It's called Skinny Taste and all the recipes are skinnied up as much as possible without taking out all the flavor and making you think you're eating cardboard.  Seriously one of my favorite blogs right now....

Anyway, this sauce is pretty well hands off after the initial 10-15 minutes of preparation.  And is there anything more comforting about smelling a big pot of sauce simmering on the stove all day on a chilly Saturday afternoon?  Not that I can think of...

It looks like there's a lot of ingredients but most of the stuff we had on hand...I think we only really had to purchase the pancetta, the tomatoes, the half and half, and the carrots and celery.

4 oz pancetta
1 T butter
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/2 cup carrots, minced
1 lb lean ground beef or italian sausage
1/4 cup white wine
2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (we used dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (we used dried)
1/2 cup half and half (could probably use skim milk, Im planning on substituting next time)

In a deep heavy saute pan, saute pancetta until fat melts. Add butter, onions, celery, and carrots, and cook on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Increase flame to medium-high and add the meat, season with salt and pepper and saute until browned. Add wine, cook until reduces down (about 3-4 minutes).  Add tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf and then simmer covered on low, at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally...the longer it simmers, the better it will be so we let it go for about 4 hours.

When almost ready to serve, add half and half, parsley, and basil and cook for 2 minutes longer.   This recipe makes about 8 cups. I really don't know how it could have been better.  If I were making it just for Justin and I, I may have added some crushed red pepper to simmer in there for some heat but the flavor of this sauce was splendiferous even without heat (don't think you'll ever catch me saying that again).  I was honestly surprised how little work it was to put together a fully homemade pasta don't shy away from it if you think it's going to be tons of work like I did!

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