Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Growing up, spaghetti was one of my all-time favorite meals. I remember my parents making me and my sisters wear my dad’s old t-shirts over our clothes each time we would eat any kind of pasta with red sauce to prevent stains on our every day clothes. Now that I am grown, I realize that if we ate anything like my nephew, this was a wise decision.

The moment I realized my apartment was not entirely kid friendly.

Making spaghetti sauce from scratch always seemed like such a daunting task, so for years I opted for good old Ragu mixed with about a pound of seasoned, browned ground beef – which is definitely what I grew up eating so I was fine with it. In fact, you can ask almost all of my friends and I think that at least 75% of them could say that tipsy Han has whipped up some Ragu spaghetti for them after a night at the bars.

Almost to the point of being a huge inconvenience, I prefer to cook most things from scratch and eat processed foods minimally at home. Since we all had some free time in 2020, I decided to give homemade spaghetti sauce a whirl! I studied a multitude of different recipes and tested several combinations until I got it right – just like childhood, maybe better – and I haven’t used store-bought sauce in months!

Serve this flavorful sauce with your favorite pasta – spaghetti, penne, lasagna, ravioli, etc. and it’s sure to be a hit!

Be sure to comment and let me know what you think !

Recipe

Prep Time  10 minutes

Cook Time  5 hours

Serves 6 people 

Ingredients

For Sauce
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 anchovies 
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground beef
  • 1 [6 oz] can tomato paste
  • 1 [15 oz] can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup chicken or beef  broth
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup of half & half
For Serving
  • Pasta of choice, cooked according to package instructions
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • Freshly chopped parsley flakes

Instructions

  1.  Over the stove on medium-high heat, drizzle a good amount of olive oil in a large saute pan or dutch oven. Add in diced onion and cook until translucent (about 3 minutes). Next, add in minced garlic and saute until fragrant (30-60 seconds). 
  2. Add in anchovy filets and mash until they blend with the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until meat is brown all the way through and drain grease from pan. (Pro-tip: Always leave about 1 tbsp of grease to prevent the meat from drying out.)
  4. Add seasoning to the cooked beef – salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley flakes, italian seasoning and oregano and stir to combine. 
  5. Thoroughly mix tomato paste with beef, and begin hand crushing your tomatoes. (See tip #3.) Once you have crushed all of the tomatoes, pour in remaining tomato sauce from the can. Add in sugar and stir to combine.
  6. Add in broth and red wine and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) and add bay leaves and thyme. Cook covered and stirring occasionally for at least 4 hours – more if you like! (See tip # 4.)

Tips

  1. Cook in one pound of ground lamb meat or italian sausage for some added flavor. If you do this, reduce the amount of ground beef to one pound. 
  2. You can also add any vegetables you like – sometimes I add in finely diced carrots or celery while sauteing the onion. 
  3. You can certainly buy a 15 oz can of pre-crushed tomatoes, but I promise crushing them yourself will give you a much better result, especially if you enjoy a chunkier sauce. Plus, it’s way more fun! 
  4. Although this sauce won’t reach it’s full potential without cooking for at least 4 hours, it is okay to cook it for a shorter period of time if you are in a rush. I would aim to allow the sauce to simmer for at least 30 minutes to ensure the flavors have melded together. 

2 thoughts on “Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

  1. Jennifer Widener

    This sounds so good. I’m happy to report that I have started making my own sauce as well. I think it tastes much better. Oh, I would still recommend an old t-shirt. Lol

    Like

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