This bolognese sauce is intensely appetizing, with a perfect combination of seasoning and depth of flavors. It’s a restaurant quality dish that tastes amazing and is easy to make.
The Best Bolognese Sauce
For some reason, we’ve been doing more pasta recently. Maybe it’s the cooler fall weather. Or perhaps it’s just the call of carbs. Knowing my hubby and boys have an affinity for Pasta Bolognese, I opted to make a delish chunky version. The chunks of meat and tomatoes in the sauce feel substantial. The noodles definitely curb any carb crave.
If you’ve read a few of my previous posts, you already know I adore my Cooks Illustrated. The Test Kitchen does not skimp or mess around. Sure, I will pad around the kitchen attempting anything ranging from my dad’s home style grub to Thomas Keller’s creations. Yet Cooks Illustrated has a special space in my collection of recipes, because I know it’s gonna be good.
By the way, shall we pronounce the word bolognese just for fun? Try saying it with a robust Italian accent: bol-uh-NIEZ-ay. Like I said, super fun. Now, let’s cook.
Simmering Produces Deep, Complex Flavors
Take this classic Pasta Bolognese. Such amazingly deep, complex flavors! This is not to be mistaken for “red sauce with meat.” Oh, no. This is a delightful savory experience that comes only with the right ingredients and a patient simmering. Three hours of low simmering, to be precise. I think I even went a bit longer.
Plan to give this delectable sauce plenty of simmer time. No need to stand over the pot and babysit; just let it simmer while you go about your day. The weekend is a perfect time to make this dish. Let the sauce do its low-simmer thing. Dress it up or down, and it can go from casual family meal to dinner-guest material.
What kind of meat is best for Bolognese?
Our favorite choice of meat for the best bolognese sauce is fresh Italian pork sausage, no casings. If preferred, you can use 85% lean ground beef or a mixture of ground meats, such as a mixture of beef/pork/veal. We really prefer the ground sausage because it imparts a robust flavor into the sauce.
Make Bolognese Sauce Ahead of time
You’ll appreciate that bolognese sauce can be completely made ahead of time; in fact, if you make it the day before and let it sit overnight, the flavors marry together even better. This is one of those recipes that reheats superbly, making it a favorite choice for entertaining.
Bonus: this bolognese sauce freezes exceptionally well, just like our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. Feel free to double the sauce and freeze half of it in an airtight container. Then, on a busy weeknight, all you have to do is boil some pasta and defrost your Bolognese sauce. There’s your meal prep for part of the week. You and your eaters will thank you.