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Pasta bolognese is probably one of the most commonly made Italian meals outside of Italy. In the UK, spaghetti bolognese is such a ubiquitous meal that it’s even got a cheeky nickname: spag bol. Cute, right? But if you’ve somehow never made this meaty pasta dish before, now’s the time to try it. That’s because Giada De Laurentiis just shared her spicy twist on authentic pasta bolognese, and not only that, but she also uses two types of meat for an extra-flavorful Northern Italian spin on the classic recipe.
Bolognese is often just made with beef, or sometimes beef and pork. But in De Laurentiis’ Northern Italian-inspired version, the bolognese is made hearty with half ground lamb and half ground beef. This gives the sauce a very savory, umami flavor, but it’s actually a little lighter than recipes using all beef or beef and pork, as lamb is leaner.
The recipe is pretty traditional in many ways. You will need to simmer it for a couple of hours, but the way it makes your house smell is so worth the time. It also makes a big batch of sauce, enough for two meals according to De Laurentiis, and most of the simmering time is hands-off anyway.
Bolognese can be a bit heavy and rich, so De Laurentiis puts an ingenious twist on the recipe, adding in some spicy Calabrian chile paste.
This fragrant, sweet, and peppery paste adds a kick to the sauce that, along with crushed red pepper flakes, helps wake the whole dish up.
It needs it, too, because much of the body of sauce comes from reducing red wine, milk, Parmesan cheese, and the juices that have rendered out of the meat, which makes for a luxurious sauce, but one that definitely benefits from the zing of Calabrian chile paste.
When your sauce is done simmering, toss half of it with some fettucine or tagliatelle —
some sort of thick noodle that the sauce can really cling to. Save the other half in an airtight container in the fridge for another dinner later in the week, or freeze it.
If you want the dish to be even spicier, you can try amping up the heat with some Italian Calabrian chili pepper hot sauce.
It’s also divine on pizza and wings.
Giada De Laurentiis’ spicy bolognese is perfect for Sunday dinner, date night, or just those days when you know nothing is going to hit the spot like a delicious homemade Italian meal.
In search of more delicious recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls