Lunch / Dinner
If you can find 45 minutes to spare, upgrade that predictable pasta dinner with a rich and hearty ragu-style sauce. Although Bolognese [boh-loh-NYEHzeh] has many of the same ingredients as spaghetti sauce — and is served over basic pasta here — don’t confuse the two. This sauce is really more of a ragu, or stew, with layers of flavor.
After the meats are browned, a mixture of onion, carrot, and celery is added — this is called mirepoix [mihrPWAH]. In classic cooking, it’s as much of a seasoning as any herb. Either grated or minced, it’s meant to provide flavor, then dissolve into the sauce along with red wine and tomatoes.
It’s a little surprising, but actually very traditional, to include milk or cream in a Bolognese sauce. It adds sweetness and richness without making it creamy. If you don’t want the added fat of cream, just use milk.
Test Kitchen Tips
If you have difficulty locating bulk sausage, the link variety works as well — just remember to remove the casing before browning the meat.
For meaty, chunky sauces like this, use a tube-like pasta with a hollow center, such as penne or rigatoni. The sauce fills those hollows and evenly distributes into each bite.
Brown beef and sausage in oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, 5 minutes.
Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Cook penne in a pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.
Serve Bolognese over penne and garnish with parsley and Parmesan.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 69%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 173mg 57%
Sodium 856mg 35%
Carbs 100g 33%
Fiber 5g 20%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.