When we were deciding what to have for dinner on Sunday, I threw out the idea of spaghetti with meat sauce. We usually do the boring version of a jar of spaghetti sauce with some ground beef thrown in. But we wanted something a little different, so Lee threw out the idea of having a bolognese sauce. I hadn’t made a good one in years, so I went on a quest to find the best recipe I could find. And what I ended up pulling what looked like the best parts of several to make my own version. It was so delicious that I thought I should share. Though I’ll admit it’s one that didn’t involve a lot of measurement, so it’s hard to write it out clearly!
Starting off, I used half a package of bacon, cut up into one inch chunks.
Next, add one medium diced onion.
Then it’s time to add the meat. I used one half pound of spicy Italian sausage just to give a different taste and a little bit of spiciness, and one pound of ground beef. Once I throw it all in there and add spices (salt, pepper, thyme, crushed red pepper) and let it brown a bit, I use the potato masher to mash it in to very small bits. My husband doesn’t like large meat chunks in the sauce, so he always uses the potato masher to make smaller, more even bits of meat.
Next up, I added about half a cup of beef broth and let it burn off some and scraped up all the good bits in the bottom of the pan. A household with wine could use wine instead. Once the beef broth is all incorporated, I moved on to the various forms of tomato sauce.
I used about 1/3 jar of spaghetti sauce I had left in the refrigerator, 2 cans of crushed tomato, 2 cans of seasoned tomato sauce (I know there are three in the picture, but I only ended up using two), and one can of seasoned tomato paste. I just dumped it all in.
Once I got all the tomato sauces mixed in, I also added some fresh oregano. I don’t think using fresh oregano was essential to the sauce, but it certainly was tasty. I also added a bit more thyme and crushed red pepper.
And at this point, all the work was done! I turned the heat down to simmer, left it uncovered, and left it alone. For about three hours, just to make sure all the flavors were cooking up together and getting extra tasty.
This is what it looked like right before I served it up.
Doesn’t it look tasty?
I served it with both spaghetti noodles and rigatoni because kids are weird and prefer certain pasta shapes. And grated parmesan of course!
And I still had about half a batch of sauce left to freeze for another night!
Spaghetti Bolognese With a Kick!
1/2 package of bacon, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
Seasonings to taste – salt, pepper, thyme, crushed red pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cans crushed tomatoes (14 oz.)
2 cans seasoned tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
Pasta of your choice
1. Cook bacon for approximately 3 minutes until partially cooked.
2. Add diced onion. Cook until browned.
3. Add sausage and ground beef and seasonings. Cook until browned.
4. Add beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pan.
5. Add tomato sauces.
6. Add fresh oregano and additional seasonings to taste.
7. Reduce heat to simmer and let sit for three hours (could also transfer to crockpot at this point!).