One of my very favorite people is on her way to visit me…my mom. With my dad on his way to Big Ten Basketball Tournament, we get grandma for a few days. My parents are both terrific cooks, and are best when they cook together. I think when I got into cooking as a profession, they got more interested as well. We ate very homemade and “from scratch” as kids, and as an adult, a home cooked meal at my parents is always a treat.
Tonight we’re having pasta night. Bolognese, also called Ragu, is a thick, full bodied meat sauce from northern Italy’s Bologna region. It is also great for hiding a ton of vegetables with the help of a food processor, in a delicious and kid friendly sauce over pasta. To me, pasta is always comfort food, and there is nothing more comforting than having your mom close by.
Recipe: Italian Sausage Bolognese
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 leaves of kale, stems removed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 t salt
- 6 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1 lb ground Italian Sausage
- 1/2 c red wine
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1t Italian seasoning
- 2 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (or diced)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 lb spaghetti (or any pasta)
- Parmesan cheese to top
- Preheat a large sauce pot over medium heat and add oil
- In a food processor, pulse all vegetables until they are about pea size or smaller, add to oil and saute about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Brown ground sausage in the same pot, I push the veggies to one side and continue cooking them.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, scrapping up any bits of flavor from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Let the wine cook out a few minutes.
- Add brown sugar and Italian seasoning.
- Add the canned tomatoes, can pulse in the food processor if they are too large.
- Let the sauce simmer 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When ready to serve, cook spaghetti following package instructions.
- Top the pasta with the sauce and Parmesan cheese and serve.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s) Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Microformatting by hRecipe.
*Note…Try adding 1/2 cup heavy cream to the last 15 minutes of the sauce simmering. Traditional bolognese has some cream or milk and, it’s delicious either way. Give it a try if you want, you’ll get a pinker creamier version.