Chunky, meaty Bolognese sauce made with red wine and served with spinach fettuccine.
There are so many variations of this pasta sauce that originates from Bologna, Italy and Wikipedia says the authentic sauce has very little tomato in it. Other versions do not contain red wine — mine does because red wine does something to tomato-based sauces that makes them incredible robust.
Some recipes use more than one kind of ground meat; often, a combination of pork, veal and beef. My fettuccine Bolognese substitutes smoked belly bacon for pancetta, the Italian dry cured pork belly that is often referred to as Italian bacon.
- 225 grams spinach fettuccine or substitute your favorite pasta variety
- 400 grams ground beef
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 grams smoked belly bacon minced
- 128 ounces canned stewed tomatoes
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 celery stalk finely sliced
- 1 pimiento cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup semi-sweet red wine
- fresh parsley for garnish
- grated cheese to serve
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pot.
Add the ground beef, stirring to break up lumps. Cook until the meat is lightly browned.
Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
Add the vegetables, pour in the stewed tomatoes and red wine. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for at least one hour until the sauce is rich and thick and has gone way beyond the soupy stage. Yes, that takes at least one hour. That’s really part of the secret of rich and savory sauces — the slow long cooking that allows the vegetables to soften and turn mushy, making the sauce thick and rich. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary, before serving.
To serve the fettuccine Bolognese, place pasta on individual plates, ladle the sauce on top, sprinkle with fresh parsley and grated cheese.