Wine and pasta are such a perfect pairing that it’s worth doing twice.
We’re replacing white with red, sticking with spaghetti, and focusing on red meat. That’s right, it’s time for spaghetti bolognese.
I adapted a recipe from “Cook It In Your Dutch Oven,” though — like the scampi — most recipes I found were pretty similar. What I liked about this one is that it added additional vegetables than just tomatoes; what I didn’t like is that it had the vegetable puree mostly replace tomatoes. Call me traditional but it’s not bolognese without an abundance of tomatoes.
So, instead of pureeing, I just diced the vegetables, cooked them longer, and had a chunkier sauce. Because of that, I also decided to use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce so it was all chunky. I kept in the 3 T. of tomato paste too but I’m not sure it’s necessary. I just needed it for another recipe anyway so I kept it in.
I also used all broth instead of a mixture of water and broth, and replaced beef with buffalo.
I think all the changes worked. It made a hearty, heavy meal feel healthier, and all tasted great. My only small complaint is that this supposed weeknight meal took longer with cutting all the vegetables (rather than pureeing), and also isn’t *that* short even without it. Still worth it, though, and made for days of yummy leftovers.
Here’s what I did:
- 1 lb. ground buffalo, or any ground meat
- 6 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 T. tomato paste, optional
- 1 c. dry red wine
- 5 c. broth (I used homemade chicken vegetable broth but any will do)
- ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (I used more)
- 1 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and the onion, carrot, and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Add the ground meat and tomato paste, if using, and cook until the meat is just cooked through, about another 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the diced tomatoes and the wine, and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid total by about half, stirring occasionally. Add broth and Parmesan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook the sauce mixture for 20 minutes to let the flavors combine.
Increase the heat, and bring the sauce to a boil. Gently add in the pasta, and return to a simmer. Cook covered or partially covered — depending on how thick you like your sauce — for another 10 to 15 minutes until the pasta is cooked to desired tendency. Add more broth if necessary. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve and add extra Parmesan, if desired, and enjoy!