Bella's Bolognese

Bolognese offers versatility – it can be made with any combination of beef, pork, sausage, veal, prosciutto, or whatever bits of meat are available from leftover dishes.
Photography By Bob Thompson | January 01, 2016

About this recipe

JOANIE CORNEIL, OWNER, CEO, EXECUTIVE CHEF
BELLA’S ITALIAN CAFÉ, SQUARE 1 BURGERS AND BAR

When Chef Joanie moved to Italy and tasted Bolognese for the first time, she says it was love at first bite. While she appreciates its versatility – it can be made with any combination of beef, pork, sausage, veal, prosciutto, or whatever bits of meat are available from leftover dishes – she always goes back to the original recipe.

“In spite of the dozens of ways to make it, the recipe I learned which is common to the area of Naples where I lived is still my favorite.”
In 29 years at Bella’s, she estimates they’ve made over 30,000 gallons of the sauce.

Instructions

Heat butter and oil in a large stock pot. Add garlic, celery, onion, carrots and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until onion is translucent, stirring often. Add beef and crumble well by mashing with potato masher until fine, and until beef looks “grainy.” This takes time, but is the key to having a smooth sauce.

Add wine and continue to mash until beef has lost its red color. Simmer over low heat until wine is mostly reduced. Add milk and nutmeg, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer on low for four hours, continuing to stir frequently.

Serve immediately or allow to cool at room temperature for an hour or so, then refrigerate. Before reheating, break up the fat sitting on top into small pieces and stir into the sauce. Serve over any type pasta or make into lasagna. Of course, add a lot of parmesan in true Bella’s style.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 oz. olive oil
  • 4 tsp. garlic, minced
  • ½ cup celery, minced
  • ½ cup yellow onion, minced
  • ½ cup carrot, minced
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • 2 ½ cups dry, white wine
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2, 28 oz. cans of all-purpose, crushed tomatoes
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