Heirloom Bolognese Sauce

Today is a very exciting day. The Rose Table is one year old! I can hardly believe that it’s been a whole year already, but I thought we should celebrate! I’ve decided to share an heirloom family recipe with you for bolognese sauce.

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Note: this article has been updated with new photos

My grandmother started making this spaghetti sauce in the 1940s. I never had the pleasure of meeting my grandmother because she passed away when my mom was just a teenager but I’ve always felt a strong connection to her. I cook many of her recipes and have always loved hearing about her from my mom.

I’ve been making this sauce for years now. I crave it when the weather gets cold (by cold, I mean south of 80), I crave it during storms, and I crave it when watching vampire movies. Doesn’t it look like something a vampire would enjoy? The bottom line is, there is no better way to spend an autumn Sunday (preferably of the dark and stormy variety) than curled up with your dog while this meat sauce bubbles, perfuming the whole house with its sweet garlic-onion scent. Waiting for dinner is a true test of patience when this is on the stove.

Heirloom Bolognese Sauce | The Rose Table

Heirloom Bolognese Sauce
2 lbs ground round or a low-fat ground beef (93% is better than 85%)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 35-oz can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp (ish) oregano, salt, and pepper
Fresh basil
1 lbs pasta
8 oz (or more!) good quality Parmesan cheese

  1. Brown the beef with onion over medium heat.
  2. Remove access grease with a ladle.
  3. Add garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper and stir thoroughly.
  4. Fill tomato paste can twice with water and add to pot. It will be watery, but don’t panic! It has hours to cook down.
  5. Drop the temperature down to medium-low, cover and let simmer for at least two hours.
  6. Check it after two hours. Add water to thin it out or leave lid off for a little bit if it seems too thin.
  7. Let simmer for another hour or so.
  8. Add freshly torn basil to bolognese.
  9. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain the pasta and either add the pasta to bolognese sauce pot ladle the sauce over the pasta. This recipes makes a ton of sauce so I ladled most over the pasta but reserved a pint to stick in the freezer. Who doesn’t want instant bolognese love in their freezer for a rainy day?
  10. Top with grated parmesan and a bit more freshly torn basil. Add a sprig of basil for a grand finish. Remember, the eye eats too!
  • Enjoy!
  • Happy cooking,

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