Pasta Bolognese is one of those dishes I crave regularly. It's also super simple to make and can be thrown together in a flash. I typically use a jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce vs. making my own, which adds to the ease. Served atop pasta (rigatoni, bucatini or pappardelle are my faves) with a green salad and a glass of red wine, it's one of my all-time favorite comfort meals. The sauce is even better on day two, when the meat's had a chance to absorb all of the flavors. When I do have leftover sauce, I'll sometimes serve it over polenta on day two for a little variety.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for sautéeing vegetables and meat
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced fine (I'll substitute chopped prosciutto if that's what I've got in the house)
- 1 medium carrot, diced fine
- 1 celery stalk, diced fine
- 1 medium onion (yellow or white), diced fine
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef (or a combination of the two)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 32 oz. jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds of pasta of your choice
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in pan and sauté pancetta until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat additional two tablespoons of olive oil (in same pan) and sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add ground meat and break into small pieces with wooden spoon. Cook until browned.
- Add pancetta, oregano, dried basil and bay leaf and stir well.
- Add red wine and reduce liquid by half.
- Add Rao's Marinara Sauce, mix well, reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to directions and drain.
- Remove bay leaf and serve Bolognese over pasta topped with freshly grated cheese and basil.