Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pasta Bolognese

Growing up I thought pasta bolognese was ground beef with red sauce from a jar tossed onto spaghetti. Boy, was I wrong. Over the past years, I have always made my own red sauce for quick meals, it is so easy. But now I know about this amazing dish called bolognese. I am sure we have all had a meat sauce where the meat tasted tough or like rubber. Well in this recipe the meat is nice and soft because you cook the meat in milk! I know it sounds strange, but it is delicious.

adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Weeknight Pasta Bolognese
1 green pepper- diced into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion- diced
2 roma tomatoes- blanch tomatoes to remove skins and then dice.
1/2 box pomi chopped tomatoes- or a 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves- diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound pork sausage
1 1/2 cups milk- you can use skim or whole
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound pasta- you can use spaghetti, I used penne, that was all we had at the time.

Heat butter in 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.

Add pepper and onion. Cook until vegetables are soft. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.

Add diced roma tomatoes (I was being lazy and didn't blanch the skin off my tomatoes, but next time I will), cook for another minute or so and then add in the meat. Break the meat up into small pieces as it cooks.

Now it is time to add in the milk, I know this sounds really strange and it even looks strange, but trust me it is the key to this recipe. Keep breaking up the meat into 1/2 inch pieces. Continue to simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Cook it long enough for all the liquid to evaporate. Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes, and pinch of salt & pepper.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
*added note, at this point you can also skim off some of the fat that surfaces, or you can stir it back in!

In the meantime cook your pasta. I prefer mine al dente, just cook how you normally do. When pasta is ready, place some in a bowl and top it with the sauce, of course you can always add a little freshly grated Parmesan! This is a great meal for leftovers as well. I brought it for lunch the next day. It was so fab, everyone at work was drooling as I ate it over a lunch hour meeting.


  1. Yum, I might make it this weekend!

  2. Let me know how it turns out! Hope you have a good friday!