I’m posting this recipe for some diplo friends who asked for it after I brought the sauce for a potluck party we just had. Since learning the recipe at a cooking class with Ritz Carlton’s Italian chef, Bolognese has become a favourite dish in our household. We’ve made a few adjustments of course.
The secret of this recipe is 1) using only the best and freshest ingredients you can find and 2) more than one kind of ground meat and letting it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before you serve it.
- 500 grams Minced Meat ideally 1/3 beef, 1/3 veal and 1/3 pork. Normally I just use 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork. Or I remove pork when I have guests who can’t eat pork.
- 1 can peeled tomato in juice (pelati) I like the taste of A&P brand from Kaisers or Heinz in Jakarta/Manila
- 1 carton tomato puree (passiert) A&P or Heinz
- 100 grams carrot, celery and red onion brunoise (diced 1mm x 1mm)
- 100 grams tomato paste A&P or Heinz
- 5-6 pcs chopped garlic cloves
- Optional: 20 ml red wine
- 1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley and fresh thyme I like to use torn leaves of basil freshly torn from my own organic plant
- freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Grana Padano cheese The chef said this is the best kind of Parmesan cheese, even better than Parmigiano Reggiano
- Spaghetti or Penne pasta cooked perfectly al dente Use the highest quality you can afford. I recommend this brand
How to cook
- Heat pan and oil
- Add meat and sear
- Mix in minced onion, carrots
- Mix in minced celery
- Cook for 2 minutes
- Add garlic and sautee
- Pour in canned tomatoes, then the pureed tomatoes and the paste
- Mix well
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve piping hot
How to serve and store
At home when only the two of us are eating, I like to serve this plated already.
- I place a good serving of pasta on dinner plates, top it with the sauce, sprinkle generously with grated Grana Padano and hand torn basil leaves.
- The rest of the pasta and sauce are stored separately in air-tight glass containers.
- Storing them separately prevents the pasta from getting overcooked and soggy.
- Do not use plastic containers for the sauce because 1) there is danger of leaching harmful chemicals into the sauce when subjected to cold and hot temperatures and 2) this sauce will stain your plastic container red.
When serving buffet-style I like to serve the pasta, sauce, grated cheese, and basil in separate serving plates/bowls.
- The pasta and sauce should be served hot. Warmers would be ideal but you don’t have warmers, you can just keep them covered to keep them warm.
- This way the guests can choose how much sauce they want to put and how much cheese and herbs they want.
- You can save the basil already torn or you can leave them whole and let the guest tear them on top of their pasta with their own hands. It’s more fun this way and adds to the dining sensory experience because of the basil’s amazing aroma.
How to Pronounce Bolognese
I also learned the proper pronunciation of Bolognese from Chef Mariano – the Italian way!
Read more about my unforgettable experience learning how to make this amazing Italian sauce under a world-class Italian chef click HERE.