I’ve been collecting recipes for a long time. Here’s a great recipe for Bolognese Sauce for you to try.  My scribbles in my book tell me it’s been adapted over the years, but still it’s a simple and tasty recipe.  True to sauce making standards, just a few good ingredients that melt together to uniform the taste.  On a snowy day like today, a big bowl of pasta – spaghetti or, my favorite – penne, with this sauce, some pepperoncini and reggiano sprinkled on top and crusty garlicky bread (recipe below) – life is good.  This recipe serves 4 – but make more, it freezes great.  As always – Enjoy! 


1/2 lb minced pork (225g)
1/2 lb minced beef (225g)
3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil (45ml)
2 tblsps unsalted butter (30ml)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed (or more, you don’t want vampires in your house?!)
1 cup white wine (about 250ml)

1/2 cup red wine (about 125ml)
*2 cups tomato sauce or canned tomatoes (about 500ml)
2 dried chili peppers, crushed
Salt/Pepper to season
1 tsp Sugar – or to taste
Sprig of fresh rosemary
5 basil leaves, torn

*This note is intended for those of us not lucky enough to make our own tomato sauce from bushels of tomatoes in the fall.  One of the few “ready made” items I keep in my pantry is always a good bottle of tomato sauce. There are many varieties out there, try a couple and when you find the right one, always keep a bottle on hand. If you buy a sauce and it not to your taste, don’t worry, just add some olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot, celery and basil to it – all is not lost. Also, please make sure that when you use canned tomatoes, that you try and get San Marzano Tomatoes.  Any good Italian Grocery store sells these.  The can must display the DOC seal to be authentic. You will aso see “San Marzano Like” canned tomatoes – I have yet to find a “San Marzano “Like”” canned tomato that comes close to the original. They cost a bit more but if you ever do a side-by-side taste test, you will taste/see the difference.

In a small saucepan, melt unsalted butter with the olive oil, add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and chili pepper. Cook the ingredients on medium heat until they are soft.   Add the sprig of rosemary.  You can do all of this in one pan, just remove this onion mix before adding the beef and browning it.  You just want to (sadly) drain the fat from the browned beef. 
In a larger sauce pan, add minced beef and pork and cook until golden brown – drain the fat.
Add the contents of the small sauce pan, and add the white and red wines. Let this simmer – about 5 – 7 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavor of the wines.
Add the tomato sauce or canned tomatoes and let simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
Before serving, add basil leaves and salt/pepper/sugar to season.  Serve over your favorite pasta, and enjoy.  This tastes even better the next day so make extra the next time around. 

Garlic(ky) Bread
4 pieces of Kaiser Rolls, sourdough bread, baguette – your favorite bread,
6 garlic cloves – crushed or mashed (again, vampires)
4 tblsp’s extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp butter

Put the olive oil, garlic and butter in a bowl and microwave to melt – when it starts popping violently in your microwave, it should be ready. The butter should be melted and the olive oil warmed. If you crush the garlic, you can spread it with the butter and oil on the toasted bread.
While that’s happening, Split the rolls in half, if you have a cast iron or ridged pan, put it on the heat and toast the bread – you want nice grilled marks on the bread.

If you don’t have one of these multi-use pans (get one), put your oven on grill, spread the bread on a baking sheet on the second rack.  I’m recommending the second rack because it is easier to control the speed at which your bread will toast and putting it on the baking sheet makes it easier to remove the sheet from the oven, flip over the bread, and put it back in the oven without losing the heat by doing it with the oven door open if using the rack directly.   Warning – like a souffle, the grill setting of your oven waits for no one and will go from perfectly toasted bread to burned faster than you can say “oh darn, I burned the bread” (you may substitute expletives where applicable). So stand by your stove and watch.

Once toasted, paint the bread with the melted mixture. It’s ready to eat.

Bolognese Sauce