Lana's Bolognese Meat Sauce

Thank you to my good friend Lana who agreed to be a guest blogger here on my blog! yippee!! even better she made the recipe and brought some over for us to sample! (stay tuned) * it smells divine and the kids are loving theirs :)

Bolognese Meat Sauce

This great meat sauce is a specialty of Bologna. It is delicious with tagliatelle or short pasta such as penne or conchiglie as well as spaghetti. The oil/fat content makes it ideal for making lasagna, particularly homemade pasta. I will post more about this later! It keeps well in the refrigerator for several days and can be frozen for several months.

25g/ 1oz/ 2T butter
60mL/ 4T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
25g/ 1oz/ 2T pancetta or unsmoked bacon, finely chopped (optional)
1 carrot, finely sliced or diced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
350g/ 12oz lean minced beef/lamb/chicken or kangaroo
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150mL/ ¼ pt/ 2/3cup red wine (I have used merlot, cab sav, shiraz and grenache)
125mL/ 4fl oz/ ½ cup full milk
1 x 400g/ 14oz can plum tomatoes, chopped with their juice, or 450g fresh tomatoes
1 bay leaf
¼ t fresh thyme leaves

1. Heat the butter and oil over moderate heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the pancetta (if using), and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the carrot, celery and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes more.

2. Add the meat and crumble it into the vegetables with a fork or spoon. Stir until the meat loses its red colour. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour in the wine, raise the temperature slightly, and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the milk, and cook until it evaporates.

4. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, and the herbs. Bring the sauce to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Correct the seasoning before serving.

Taken from The Italian Cook, A definitive guide to Italian ingredients and an inspirational collection of recipes by Capalbo, Whiteman, Wright and Boggiano.

For a no fuss preparation, you can chop the vegetables in a blender. For a more sophisticated finish, it is better to hand chop them. Or you can hand chop some and put the rest in the blender . I’ve used Black Russian tomatoes, which I have grown in my own garden (they are awesome croppers over the whole season, so far this season, from 2 plants which cost me $2 each, I have harvested 20.75kg!). They are chocolate brown, and give the sauce a rich dark colour. This is such a versatile recipe, I always make 2 or 3 times as much as I need, and either freeze, or make up a lasagna to freeze. It does lend itself well to increasing the quantities, just keep in mind that the wine and milk will take longer to evaporate.

* if you have a recipe you'd like to share on here please email me - you don't HAVE to cook for me ;) but thanks lana!

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