imageThis is my Grandma’s Bolognese recipe.

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I’m giving away a pretty deep dark secret here. Get excited.

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There are really very few ingredients that go into this recipe so it is important that every ingredient you use is a good quality one. To make this the right way, go big or go home.

To really develop the desired flavor, this sauce needs to sit and simmer on the stove for about three or so hours. Worth. It. This is really a great Sunday dinner sauce and believe me, not only will your family be happy, your house will smell incredible.

Let’s do this.

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Ingredients:

1lb each pork, beef, veal

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 whole head of garlic, smashed and chopped (garlic really doesn’t like being photographed)

1 lg can crushed tomatoes

1 lg can whole tomatoes

1 cup good quality red wine

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup basil

1 large pinch of red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

*Note: Many Bolognese recipes call for carrots and celery in addition to the onions. There are critics out there that  believe using this “holy trinity” is the traditional way of making Bolognese. While Bolognese originated in Bologna, Italy, meat sauce or ragu recipes can be somewhat regional and this is how my Sicilian grandmother made hers. If you are said critic, I just want you to know that I know about the celery and carrots and i’m purposely leaving them out. I have tried making this exact sauce with the carrots and celery and I did not like the result as much. To you critics, go forth and do as you wish.

Directions:

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven to medium heat.

Begin by chopping both ends off your onion.

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Slice the onion in half. image

Then peel away the skin.

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Now to chop the onion….

Keeping the back of the onion in tact, make slits longways down the front of the onion.

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Then slice the onion crossways.

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Then slice it a third time it from top to bottom.

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Voila!

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Next, pour the oil into the hot pan.

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Add the onions.

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Add the red pepper flakes a a good pinch of salt and pepper to the onions and stir.

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While the onions are cooking, chop your garlic.

This recipe calls for a whole head of garlic. USE IT!!!

Break up the head of garlic.

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Smash each one of those puppies with the side of your knife.

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Then peel.

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Then roughly chop.

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Add the garlic to your simmering pot of onions.

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Cook the garlic and onions for another minute or two until the onions become translucent and begin to brown.

Add your meat.

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Break up all the meat with a wooden spoon.

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As as the meat begins to brown it will release juices.

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Continue browning the meat until all the juices have evaporated, about 10 minutes.

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Once all (or most) of the juices have evaporated and the meat is getting crispy, add the red wine.

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Cook the sauce for another ten minutes or so until the alcohol has cooked off and most of the wine has evaporated.

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Next, add the tomatoes.

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Look at those luscious beauties.

Using your hands, pull out each whole tomato and break it up with your fingers as you put it into the sauce. Then add the juices left at the bottom of the can.

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Add the can of crushed tomatoes.

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Sprinkle the tomatoes with another good pinch of salt and pepper and stir everything together.

Tear the basil into large pieces and throw it in.

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Turn down the heat to medium low and cover the sauce.

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Let the sauce simmer on medium low for about an 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Then, allow the sauce to cook uncovered for an additional hour or so.

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See those juices? You want all of that to evaporate so that the sauce becomes thick and delicious.

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Continue tasting the sauce and adding salt and pepper, if necessary.

Using this amazingly delicious sauce over pasta, zucchini noodles or in lasagna.

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Enjoy!