Classic Beef Bolognese

Classic Beef Bolognese
Makes 2 quarts

Everyone needs a good meat sauce in his or her back pocket. I know a lot of Italians will have a problem with cream and cheese in this sauce, and it goes just as well without – feel free to differ in your opinion. Like a sweeter sauce? Add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (like my Mom!) or 2 diced carrots. My favorite ways to eat this sauce include pasta, M.Y.O.P and best of all – on a crusty loaf of bread.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 lb. ground sirloin or chuck, lean but not too lean (about 85%)
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
1/2 bottle dry red wine
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg

Over medium heat oil in a large skillet heat oil and sauté onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, pepper flakes, garlic and tomato paste, cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add meat and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt.

Add wine and deglaze and scrape bottom of the pan. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add cream, cheese and nutmeg. Season with additional salt, as needed.

Return heat to medium, add nutmeg, cream, cheese and basil (all desired amounts based on taste). These elements can also be omitted if preferred.

Serve over fresh or dried pasta or in a sturdy hoagie roll. 

Tip: I call dried oregano and red pepper flakes my “pizza parlor” spices, which is both corny and practical. I know these two spices are in every household and elicit nostalgia of Italian American food we all love.

Classic Beef Bolognese