I first made this bolognese for my mother for mother’s day. Dear old mum loves a good bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce, but my dad always makes this weird batch of spaghetti sauce à la whatever-he-likes, which tends to be what no one.. else.. likes. It’s an odd thing. Making a giant pot of bolognese for yourself isn’t that satisfying, either, so it was the perfect dish to make to say “Sorry we were totally on vacation during Mother’s Day! We brought you this shiny thing!”
This bolognese sauce is the perfect workhorse sauce: rich, meaty, and full of flavor. It gets a remarkable depth from the long simmer time, but it’s not so long that it’s a full day of a recipe. This bolognese is a perfect weekend dish–hearty and comforting!
I can’t speak to how seriously authentic it is, as I didn’t really eat much bolognese when I was in Italy. The original recipe claims it’s authentic, but, since the author formulated it to his tastes after traveling around Italy, I don’t know if it has Italian grandmama status. Does it matter? NO! It’s seriously awesome. But since we’re doing part of our honeymoon in Italy, I’ll take it upon myself to find out just how authentic the taste is. Someone‘s got to struggle for their art, right? I’ll bear that brunt, carry that cross. For you.
You might not be totally sold on the addition of milk at the end of simmering, but trust me on this! It balances the acidity of the tomatoes beautifully, without making the sauce exactly “creamy”. I used all Italian sausage this go-round, because I halved the original recipe, which calls for both ground pork and ground sausage, and didn’t want to use half packages of ground pork and sauce, but you can switch it up if you like and use a mix you love.
I made my own pasta here, too. Feeling ambitious? It’s not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as you might think! Try David Lebovitz’s recipe before I get around to posting my version.
- 100 mililiters cashews (about a scant 1/2 cup), soaked 15 minutes
- 2-3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
- 100 milliliters peanut butter (another scant 1/2 cup), raw, if, well, raw
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- In a blender (preferably a high-speed blender like a Vitamix), blend cashews and salt until they turn into a dense butter. Mix in peanut butter, agave/maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and process until thoroughly combined.
- Press mixture into a wax paper-lined loaf pan. Chill in the fridge at least 3 hours or in the freezer at least one hour. Cut into squares and serve. Keep in the freezer in an air-tight container for several weeks, or in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.