I'm really good at stealing my mom's delicious recipes and putting them on my blog (exhibits A and B). After traveling to Italy she made it her mission to create an amazingly delicious Bolognese sauce while remaining pretty true to traditional recipes. Her version immediately became a family favorite. A mix of beef, pork, and red wine can't be bad, after all. The scent of it cooking all day long is enough to make you drool.
One change she did make is to convert this into a slowcooker dish. It gets sautéed on the stove, but then is put into the slowcooker to simmer all day. That way you can leave the house and not worry about leaving your stove on all day. And there's just really nothing better than slowcooker meals.
Traditional Bolognese is really not a tomato sauce like the marinara we're used to. It does have a bit of tomato paste, but the focus is really the mix of meats, and of course, the wine! Although it may not be what you're used to, I promise that you'll adjust quickly. Since the sauce is such a star, you can pretty much serve it over anything and it'll taste good. However, to really push this dish over the top I prefer to serve it over Capello's fresh, grain-free fettuccine. It is heaven. But if zoodles or gluten-free pasta are more your speed, those will definitely work, too.
Bolognese may not win any beauty contests, but it will win over tastebuds of....everyone. I really hope you give this a try! If you do, leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
4 oz. pancetta
1 med. bulb fennel, sliced
1c carrots, diced
1c onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1c red wine
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2c tomato paste
1c beef stock
salt and pepper
1/2c cream, almond milk, or coconut milk
- Add the pancetta to the food processor and blend until minced.
- Add the minced pancetta to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until nearly all the fat is rendered, about 8 minutes.
- Add the fennel, carrots, and onion to the food processor and blend until they're minced.
- Stir the minced vegetables into the pancetta and continue cooking for about 3 more minutes.
- Add the pancetta and vegetables to the slowcooker.
- Put the pan back on the stove and bump up the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and pork to the pan with some salt and pepper. Cook until browned.
- Once the meat is cooked, add in the wine, garlic, tomato paste, and broth and stir until it's all combined. Add this mixture to the slowcooker and stir until it's well mixed with the vegetables and pancetta.
- Cook on low heat in the slowcooker for 4 hours or more. The longer the better. When it's nearly done, stir in the milk. Taste for seasonings and serve over your favorite noodles.
If you decide to throw this together, snap a photo for Instagram, and tag me! I love seeing what you cook. Or, you can Pin the picture below to make this another time.