As an Italian woman, I can easily spend 8 hours on a lazy Sunday perfecting my sauce ( gravy as we call it). My traditional Bolognese is created via a slow methodical path to perfection and is about as close to the pearly gates as I may see.
For a weeknight change-up, me and mini me made a quicker, healthier version. It is lighter on the body and easier on my stove. But do not be fooled, quicker can sometimes mean better!
For a traditional Bolognese, several types of meat are used; some ground, some not. It is essentially a hodge-podge of flavors gently melded together. Tonight, we used ground sirloin, pancetta and ground turkey. Usually veal and pork are used. Either works for this weeknight gravy.
After browning the meat in olive oil, I brown half of a red onion with 3 or 4 garlic cloves. Just as they look translucent I add sea salt, fresh black pepper, a touch of cayenne and nutmeg. We add a large can of fresh crushed all natural tomatoes and 3 small chopped fresh tomatoes. As they come to a boil, we add two cups of beef stock and a cup of good red wine. The sauce looks soup-like, but after it boils we simmer it until the liquid is reduced.
Be mindful to scrape the tomato off the side of the pot as you simmer. I add more salt, 6-8 chopped fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of nutmeg and continue to cook the sauce while I make my dried pasta of choice. Since our goal was to
lighten things up, mini me chose a whole grain vegetable pasta, offering low carb, high taste and a long list of nutrients.
Once the sauce is thick, I add 1/4 of half and half, more nutmeg, fresh basil, salt to taste and a good cup of shredded fontina. You can add new broth or vino if needed.
This hearty ” gravy” offers antioxidants, protein and fiber. Tomatoes are a known jewel of cancer prevention. A lighter whole grain and low carb pasta makes this an easy go to for anyone. Always freeze leftover sauce. Bolognese is easy to add to just about anything. Mangia!!!!
This work by menaanne.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.