Monday, November 14, 2011

Bolognese Sauce

I recently joined a new club.  It's a not-so-secret club called the Secret Recipe Club.

Here's the deal.  Once you join, you're randomly assigned another person's food blog.  From that blog, you need to choose one recipe to make or adapt to your liking. One.  Only one! There are so many recipes to choose from out there, I wasn't sure how I'd do it.

For my first month as a part of the club, I was assigned the Living Lou blog.  I was surprised to learn that Lou is an 18 year old who's infatuated with everything having to do with food.  Let's see.  When I was 18, I'm pretty sure I was only concerned with consuming whatever food was within reach.  And I definitely was not interested in making it.  Clearly Lou's got her life together already.  I'm still working on that.  Let's not talk about it.

What really matters is Lou's food blog.  On her website, she has several recipes that caught my eye, but the one that finally won me over was the recipe for Bolognese Sauce.  This was the perfect choice for me for two reasons:
1. I've been thinking about making a Bolognese sauce for months; and
2. I purchased a ton of pasta recently from Flour City Pasta and obviously needed to make more pasta sauce.

I made a few adjustments to Lou's recipe, but I rarely ever leave a good recipe alone.  You must know that by now.

Bolognese Sauce
adapted from Living Lou's recipe 
makes 8-10 servings

  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground chicken)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
  • 1 carrot, chopped roughly
  • handful (~3 tablespoons) basil, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 5.5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • habanero sauce, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • black pepper, to taste

1) Add the onion, red bell pepper, and carrot into a food processor and pulse several times until vegetables are desired size.  (You can choose to chop them by hand, but this is much easier.)

2) Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot and add all the ground meat.

3) Once the meat is done, add the chopped vegetables and the basil to the pan.  Cook the mixture for about 3 minutes.

4) Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.

5) Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about a minute.

6) Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine the sauce.

7) Sprinkle in the salt, habanero, and the spices (oregano, nutmeg, celery seed). Stir.

8) Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes so the flavors have a chance to blend together.

9) Pour in the milk and stir to combine.  Add black pepper to taste.

10) Toss with pasta and serve.

Wow.  I liked this sauce.  I liked this a lot.  I had some Rasta Pasta in my pantry so I poured the sauce over it and dug in.  (By the way, who knew a sweet potato, red pepper, carrot thyme, and lime flavored pasta blend would be so amazing? Apparently these Flour City Pasta guys did.)

Lou mentioned that this would be a staple in her house during the winter and I tend to agree.  This sauce is warm and comforting enough to get me through the nippy winter weather that has come barging into New Jersey way too early this year.  The meat and vegetables formed a hearty savory/sweet base for the sauce and the tomatoes and seasonings were aromatic and spicy.  As I have several pounds of pasta in my pantry, I will gladly consume all this bolognese sauce until it is extinct.

Thanks for the recipe, Lou!


  1. This looks so yummy! I love that it includes turkey and pork - a little good-for-you and a little fatty! That's how a good sauce should be. :)

  2. Hi Ellie,
    What a great Bolognese Sauce, it looks delicious. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
    Miz Helen

  3. And now I'm craving bolognese...

    If you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

  4. Haha... when I was 18 I cared only about boys and my hair. I had Lou's blog last time - what a great kid, and she has such a fabulous blog!! I want a big bowl of pasta with that fabulous bolognese for dinner tonight. Come feed me, please ;).

    I hope you'll stop by to visit my SRC post for Honey Vinaigrette Grilled Chicken.


  5. Great sounding recipe and wonderful SRC choice.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group 'A' SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  6. Looks delicious! So fun to be in SRC with you!

  7. I'm so glad that you liked it! And it makes me so happy that you chose to make this sauce since it's one of my all time favourites!

  8. Welcome to SRC. Hope u'r having fun. I was impressed when I was assigned Lou's blog too! The sauce looks like it packs some awesome flavor.

  9. I haven't made Bolognese sauce in some time. The last time I made it, I used it to top off some Korean rice noodles, and called the dish Beef Bolognese tteokbokki (

  10. What a great, thick sauce! And that pasta, well the flavors sound amazing.

  11. I'm an SRC newbie this month too! Looks like you have a hit with your first SRC recipe. I'll definitely have to give it a try.