Classic bolognese sauce

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PREP TIME

45 min

Makes

10 cups (2.5 L) (beef version); 12 cups (3 L) (chicken)

* PLUS Cooking time: 4 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 large beefsteak tomatoes , about 1 kg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves , minced
  • 250 g mushrooms , sliced about 4 cups
  • 3 medium carrots , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 1 kg lean ground beef , or ground chicken
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary , crumbled
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 3/4 tsp fennel seeds , optional
  • 1/2 tsp hot red-chili flakes , or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch cloves
  • 1 cup full-bodied dry red wine
  • 2 398-mL cans tomato sauce , or 680-mL can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley , preferably Italian flat leaf variety, or basil

Instructions

  • Peel, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Stir often until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots and celery. Stir often for 2 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add meat. Cook meat, working it with a fork to keep it from forming into clumps, until it starts to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, including any juice, basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel, if using, chili flakes, salt, pepper, cloves, wine and sauce.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until as thick as you like, about 1 hour. Stir in parsley. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) headspace. Sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Terrific over rigatoni, penne or fusilli and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 295,
  • Protein
  • 20 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 16.4 g,
  • Fat
  • 16.9 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.7 g,
  • Sodium
  • 702 mg.

Our take on one of the best Italian meat sauces uses less fat than the original. It’s worth making for the aroma alone.

Tip

Three cups (750 mL) coats 1/2 lb (250 g) pasta.