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Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Chef Todd Bjornson,

Low and slow simmering is key to unleashing layers of spice in this classic and hearty meat sauce.

28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1/2 carrot, minced
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 3/4 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 bay leaf

1. In a blender, purée the tomatoes and juice. Set aside.
2. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add celery, onion and carrot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stirring frequently, cook until soft and lightly browned, about 15 mins. Reduce heat to low, cook until soft and caramelized, about 15 mins.
4. Add beef. Break up meat with wooden spoon and brown for about 15 mins.
5. Increase heat to medium. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly until evaporated, about 10 mins.
6. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently for 2 mins. Add reserved tomato purée, oregano, basil and bay leaf, reduce to low heat and simmer while stirring occasionally until sauce is thick, about 1 1/2 hrs.

Yield 4 servings

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