- 1 medium Yellow Onion, finely diced (about 1 heaping cup)
- 2-3 ribs of Celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 Carrots, finely diced (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1 lb lean Ground Beef (at least 1 lb... bolognese is supposed to be a MEATY sauce- not a tomato sauce with a little meat in it.)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Dry Wine- I like to use red (either red or white would be fine; I've seen both used interchangeably in bolognese recipes)
- 1 (28 oz) can Whole Plum Tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Sugar, either White Granulated or Brown Sugar would be fine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of your favorite Italian Seasoning blend
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- A dash of Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Fat Free Half & Half (traditionally whole milk or cream, but I like to substitute the half & half)
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté all your diced veggies for about 10 minutes until soft and fragrant- about 8-10 minutes.
Then add the can of whole tomatoes, including all liquid.
- Tomato: If you want your sauce a little more tomatoey, you can add another can of whole tomatoes, either a 14.5 oz can or another 28 oz can -depending on your preference, with its liquid. This would, however, require some additional simmering time. Or you can add a can of crushed tomatoes with your whole tomatoes.
- Cream: If you want your sauce a little more saucey and/or creamy without adding too much tomato (to keep with the traditional bolognese fashion of little tomato), you can stir in more half and half (or whole milk or cream) at the end instead of just 1/2 cup.
- Meat: Traditionally, Bolognese uses chunks of Skirt Steak and pancetta so you can always go that route. I use lean ground beef to make it slightly healthier (and easier). Or you could make it even healthier by using lean ground Turkey. So now you've got the whole spectrum of meats to choose from.
- Consistency: If you would like to make it a little more loose and saucey without adding extra tomatoes or cream, you can add a cup or so of beef stock before it simmers. This will definitely give more depth to the sauce while lightening up the consistency, and without diluting or adulterating the traditional flavors.