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April 15, 2010
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March 29, 2014
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My Greatest Cooking TriumphMy Pasta Bolognese:

Make your own generic tomato sauce, being sure to dose generously with red wine. You can also substitute with a pre-made variety. Heat thoroughly in a medium sauce pan; season to your preference.

My suggestion for an easy home-made recipe: stew several fresh tomatoes, heating enough to easily remove the skins and mash with a fork. Crush the tomatoes thoroughly. Add in a can of tomato paste to thicken the mixture, and a can of diced tomatoes. Season with garlic, oregano, parsley, and thyme. The sweetness of the fresh tomatoes does wonderful things when later added with the salt of the pancetta/bacon.

Throw a chopped onion with a handful of pancetta (or five strips of chopped bacon) on a frying pan, set to medium heat. Add in butter, olive oil, and basil to taste. Allow onion to brown, set aside.

Brown a pound of ground beef (also works really well with ground chicken or turkey); add in onion/pancetta mixture. Add a cup of red wine, allow to cook until wine is absorbed and pan is practically dry. Add in tomato sauce and stir. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce temperature to low. Toss in a bay leaf and allow to simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.

Serve over favorite pasta. I recommend rigatoni or farfalle.

A few suggestions to add to the flavor: check the sauce a quarter through the 1 hour simmering time. I like to add another half cup of red wine that I've heated with minced garlic. Depending upon what quality of pancetta or bacon used, the sauce may need more salt than standard issue.

Be mindful that if the tomato sauce is added to the browned beef before the wine has fully reduced, that the end result may be oily.

The meat sauce, once prepared, can be left to simmer for longer than the suggested time. I find that the flavor deepens the longer it is left to simmer.