It’s finally cold here on the east coast this winter, which calls for more cozy nights in with comfort food. A hearty bolognese sauce simmering on the stove for several hours definitely satisfies that need. With the sauce’s flavor only improving as it sits in the refrigerator, it’s best to make a big portion that will last you several meals as it is also a great thing to have on hand to whip up a quick dinner when you are too tired to cook. I used my Le Creuset to make this sauce, but any big pot should do. I experienced some technical difficulties with my camera but will post more pictures soon.
- Three 28 ounce cans on whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands in a big bowl. Pick out and throw away the tough pieces that don’t break down. (I like Luigi Vitelli San Marzano)
- Four cloves of garlic, minced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/8 cup)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- One sweet onion (chopped)
- Adobo-gets sprinkled throughout!
- A dash of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Not really an ingredient but I like to use a potato masher to break up my sauces! Read more about this below..
- Add your minced garlic to a generous pour of olive oil in your pot. Turn the heat to medium but watch your garlic carefully as you don’t want it to burn. It helps to have your onions already chopped so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
- Once the garlic is simmering and beginning to turn yellow, toss in your chopped onions. Cook these together until the onions are very soft and aromatic, I say around 5 minutes. Sprinkle some Adobo.
- Add the ground beef as break it up as you’re cooking it. Cook it until there’s none or very little pink. I like to leave it with some pink since it will cook while it’s simmering later in the tomatoes. Sprinkle more Adobo to taste, along with salt and pepper.
- Drain the fat that is accumulating in the pot.
- Add your tomatoes and turn the heat to medium high. Bring it to a boil while stirring well.
- Once it boils, bring the heat down to low. Let the sauce simmer and reduce for several hours, mashing it with the potato masher a few times an hour. I find potato mashers help break up all tomato sauces uniformly and smoothly with a texture between smooth and chunky.
- As your sauce simmers and reduces, add Adobo, salt and pepper to taste. Add your dash of balsamic if you feel the sauce needs to be sweetened a bit.
Let the sauce simmer slowly, I find 3 to 4 hours is sufficient for good flavor and consistency, but basically the sauce just needs to become less watery. Reducing the sauce properly adds to the flavor and texture so be patient. Leaving it uncovered will help it reduce faster. A neat trick is covering the pot with aluminum foil. It prevents splashing as the sauce bubbles but still allows plenty of air to escape which helps it reduce faster.
Add the pasta of your choice to boiling salted water, top with sauce, fresh grated cheese and enjoy! Make enough for leftovers because it only tastes better the next day.