Fresco Bolognese

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I have been making the same simple pasta sauce all my life...until now.  Today when the weather was cold and dreary I decided it was a perfect day to make pasta sauce.  This way when the sun does decide to come out and play I will be outside enjoying it.  I have never made a bolognese sauce before but I had carrots and celery on hand from a recent recipe and needed to use them up.  So bolognese it is!  This recipe was a bit time consuming but totally worth the work.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 &1/2 pounds ground round
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds ground sausage
  • 1 Tbls. Fresco X-Factor
  • 1 Tbls. basil
  • 3-4 large celery pieces
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans tomato paste (15oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32oz)
  • 2 cups wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • water (as needed)
  • salt

I like to use my dutch oven for this recipe so it can all be done in one pan.  Begin by browning your beef and sausage together.  Most people cook meat just until it is done but in this recipe you really want to BROWN the meat.  The browner the meat the more flavor so be patient.  This will take at least 15 minutes to cook all the liquid out and really brown.  

 May look done but keep going.

May look done but keep going.

 Getting closer.

Getting closer.

This recipe goes great with a glass or two of your favorite wine.  Not to enjoy when eating this recipe but to enjoy while cooking this recipe.  You will need to be patient and relax while stirring away so pour yourself a glass of wine.

While your meat is browning get out your food processor.  Clean and chop your carrots, celery, onions and garlic.  Chop your big veggies just small enough to fit in your food processor, about one inch chunks.  Blend them all together just until it makes a chunky paste, it does not need to be smooth baby food.

At this point your meat should be nice and brown.  Perfect timing to add in your vegetable puree.  You want to brown the veggies and draw out any water.  So again you will need to be patient.  Season your pot generously with salt, add your Fresco X-Factor and basil and relax, stir and enjoy that glass of wine.

 Add veggie puree to the meat

Add veggie puree to the meat

 Brown, brown, brown

Brown, brown, brown

Finally, it is time to add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, wine, sugar and water.  After adding in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, wine and sugar give your pot a big stir and then add water one cup at a time until it comes up over the mixture by about half an inch.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer over medium/low heat for an hour.  The water and wine will slowly evaporate thickening your sauce.  If too much liquid evaporates add more water.  This hour is when the flavors really develop so do not rush this!  Add water as needed and continue to stir and simmer until your sauce reaches the perfect consistency.  

Toss this sauce with a little al dente spaghetti and finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil on top.  Serve along side a big hunk of crusty Garlic Rosemary Bread.