As the weather gets colder, the only thing we look forward to more than decorating our houses for fall and winter and sleeping under snuggly blankets again is cooking. We’re craving pumpkin recipes, of course, but any hearty, rich meal that will shake off the cold hits the spot too. The only problem is, a lot of these comfort foods take all day to braise, stew, and simmer. Take classic bolognese, which usually is an all-day project. Thankfully, Giada De Laurentiis knows that not all of us can spend an entire day cooking a pasta dinner. Her easy bolognese recipe is a weeknight friendly comfort food meal that you’ll want to add to your fall menu.
Traditional Bolognese, like the recipe from celebrated chef Marcella Hazan, can take half the day to make. Ground beef is simmered with wine, milk, spices, and tomatoes, to create a deeply rich ragu that’s much more complex than a typical American meat sauce.
De Laurentiis’ recipe meets the traditional recipe halfway, making a sauce that’s rich and complex, but that’s done in just under an hour, making it doable for weeknight meals instead of being a special-occasion treat.
She sautees onion and garlic in olive oil, then adds carrot and celery, then ground beef. The mixture is simmered with crushed tomatoes and fresh herbs for about a half an hour, until the sauce is thickened and the flavors have melded together. Finish with Pecorino Romano for a salty, nutty burst of umami.
De Laurentiis says she likes to make a double batch of this sauce so she can use it throughout the week, which is just another way to cut down on weeknight meal prep. Heat up your prepared sauce, add it to cooked pasta, and you’ve got a bolognese worthy of your Nonna in just minutes.
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