My Pappardelle Alla Bolognese will have you coming back for seconds. The beautiful thick flat pasta known as Pappardelle is perfect for this ragu, known as Bolognese, to complement these ribbons of pasta. Let me tell you how I make this delicious sauce.
I wanted to mention that whenever I make any type of tomato sauce I always have extra. This time is no different. What I decided to do is to post one or two recipes using my leftover Bolognese. At the bottom of this post is a link to one of those recipes. I hope you’ll check out my Portobello Mushroom Pizzas.
Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 3 hours 17 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 47 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) deep-sided frying pan, 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 2 (6-quart) saucepots, large slotted spoon, colander, 1 large mixing bowl, 2 medium-size bowls, 1 (10-cup) food processor, mini food processor, Microplane
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of (90% lean) ground sirloin
1 pound of ground pork
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, finely minced
4 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 large leafy-top carrots, peeled cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1/2 finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, 3 roughly chopped, 1 finely minced
3 ribs of celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of Cabernet (a good red wine)
1 cup of chicken broth, reduced sodium
1 (12-ounce) jar of Piquillo peppers, puréed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dry)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (ground), extra cheese for the top
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, extra sprigs for garnish
2 (16-ounce) packages of Pappardelle
Here I’m using three types of meat, sweet Italian sausage, ground pork, and lean ground sirloin.
In a 12-inch deep-sided frying pan, over medium-high heat, add of olive oil and whole fennel seeds cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. To the pan add the ground pork, ground sirloin, and sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up all the meat. Add the minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and finely minced fresh rosemary.
Cook until the meat is completely browned, around 10 minutes Using a slotted spoon to strain off any excess grease, transfer the browned meat from the pan to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
The next step is to prepare the *sofrito (vegetable mixture). In a food processor add the quartered onions, chopped garlic cloves, pulse until puréed. To the puréed onions and garlic, add the chopped celery, repeat the process. Transfer the onion, garlic and celery mixture to a bowl. Repeat the process with the chopped carrots, transfer to the same bowl. Refer to the picture containing the *sofrito above. Last, add the Piquillo peppers to the food processor, pulse until the peppers are puréed, transfer to a separate bowl. Set both bowls aside.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute allowing the spices to *bloom.
Next, add the *sofrito, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, and tomato paste stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently allowing the vegetables to release their water and soften around 5 minutes.
At this point add the chicken broth and red wine. Stir and allow the liquids to reduce by half, 3 to 4 minutes. This completes the base for the Bolognese.
Next in the pot goes the cans of tomatoes. Add the whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and the diced fire-roasted tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the whole tomatoes. Add bay leaves (don’t forget to remove the bay leaves when the sauce is done), 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, and the brown sugar. Stir to combine.
Turn the heat down to medium-low, simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Next, add the browned meat mixutre to the sauce, stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off. Tear fresh basil leaves dropping them into the sauce, stir to combine, cover to keep hot.
In 2 (6-quart) stockpots each filled with 4 quarts of salted boiling water, drop both packages of the Pappardelle. Cook according to directions on the package, 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain really well.
To the bottom of a large, family-style serving bowl add 1 cup of the grated (ground) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Add the hot cooked pasta to the bowl. Toss to coat the pasta. Ladle 2 to 3 large ladles full of the Bolognese and toss through. Garnish with fresh basil. Top with more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve hot.
There you have it, my Pappardelle Alla Bolognese served family-style.
*Sofrito is generally a Caribbean sauce or Latin American sauce of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs. In this recipe, it’s the use of carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and Piquillo peppers.
*Bloom is a term used in cooking. Blooming spices or herbs in fat before the liquid goes into the pot can extract far more flavor than by simply simmering these ingredients in water.