It was a sad night a few days ago. Our New Zealand expat apartment neighbor, and first buddies in Singapore, decided to leave us for another apartment complex a few miles away. As they were cleaning out their fridge, I was bequeathed with packages of ground beef and pork, so I decided to cook up a quick bolognese sauce for dinner. We don’t really go out for Italian here, so we save these dinners for making at home.
I remembered there being a bolognese recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, but since I couldn’t access the site-it doesn’t stay free when you leave:), and since I’m too smart to realize that I had the entire compendium in my bookshelf, I decided to wing it from what I could remember. I leave out the traditional carrot and celery in my recipe because a certain someone who I share my meals with hates those two vegetables, but I feel the extra onions and the tomato paste keep the sauce just sweet enough. It turned out pretty good if I don’t say so myself. The combination of beef and pork work really well together, but if you use just beef, that would be fine too. The keys to keeping the meat soft, not tough, are to keep it from browning it before adding the milk. The milk also helps to tenderize the meat. My bolognese has a lot of meat in it…not a bad thing for a meat lover like me.
Easy Spaghetti Bolognese
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced
10 ounces ground beef (chuck)
10 ounces ground pork
1 cup whole milk
1 cup red wine
2 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
Parmesan cheese to serve on the side
- In a large heavy duty saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion with salt and cook until softened and golden, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add ground beef and pork, stirring to break up into bits. Cook until just no longer pink and then stir in the milk. Cook until most of the milk is cooked off.
- Add the wine, crushed tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and toss with sauce, or spoon sauce over cooked pasta. Serve grated Parmesan or shavings over the top.