Quick Bolognese Sauce

October 23, 2019
Lunch, Dinner, Beef, Pork, Winter, Mediterranean, Comfort Food

This is the quick Bolognese sauce that I made on an episode of Beat Bobby Flay—it had to be both really good and really fast. It is not the long-simmering version that you’d find in Bologna, but it’s delicious in its own right. You can find this recipe and so much more in my latest cookbook, Bobby at Home!

Quick Bolognese Sauce
Makes about 6 cups

MEAT
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces bacon, diced
1½ pounds 80% lean ground chuck
½ pound 80% lean ground pork
1 teaspoon ground fennel
¼ teaspoon Calabrian chile flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
½ medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium celery stalk, finely diced
1 small fennel bulb, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a paste using the side of a chef’s knife and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 cup rosé wine
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes and their juices
2 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1. Cook the meat: Line a plate with paper towels and set it nearby. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook slowly until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel–lined plate to drain.

2. Increase the heat to high, add the beef and pork to the pan, and season with the ground fennel, chile flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the excess fat from the pot and set the meat aside.

3. Make the sauce: Add the oil to the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and diced fennel and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and ground fennel and cook for 1 minute more.

4. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, coarsely mash the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the meat to the pan and cook until the sauce thickens and combines, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Fold in the parsley and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or let cool to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in the freezer for up to 1 month