Last weekend I had the privilege to watch Alicja, a dear friend of Dr. Hecht’s, create the most delicious Bolognese sauce I’ve ever tasted. I’d previously had a chance to taste Dr. Hecht’s sauce, and was so impressed with it’s rich flavor that when given the chance to learn from the best, I showed up with my camera and notepad.
4 carrots, medium to small in size, cut into one inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Lbs. lean ground beef
Fresh nutmeg, to taste, about 1/4 Tsp.
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Dried oregano, off the stalk and crushed by hand, approx. 1 Tbsp.needed
1.5 cups white wine, preferably a white Burgundy
3 Tbsp. (approx.) extra virgin olive oil to sauté vegetables
1/4 cup half and half (approx.)
1. Grind the carrots and celery pieces in a small Cuisinart. You don’t want any chunks, but you also don’t want mush.
2. Add the extra virgin olive oil to your large pan and cook the ground vegetables, on medium heat, until they are tender.
3. With the heat now on low, add the ground beef. It is very important that as you brown the meat you are constantly mashing it down with a fork. You don’t want any meat chunks in the sauce.
4. Once the meat is browned and mashed, add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced.
5. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 of the basil and all of the oregano. Stir in all the ingredients, and with the heat on low, cover the pan and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
6. After about 2 hours, when the sauce has reduced and thickened, grind in the fresh nutmeg to taste, then stir in the half and half.
7. Serve with fresh pasta and enjoy!
Bolognese is about my favorite thing. Can you do it yourself and let me know if you get the same result? I’ve never found a recipe for it that I felt did it justice, at least in my hands.
I’ve already made a batch and it turned out exactly as she taught me. Just make sure you get a good ground beef and make sure you mash it down. Also… I didn’t put it in the recipe because I didn’t do it, but you can add a little sugar to the sauce at the end if you like. Let me know how you make out!