THE BEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE SAUCE
While growing up in Eastern Europe, we used to make spaghetti only with simple ingredients, such as tomato sauce or puree, few root vegetables (celery root and carrots) and herbs (marjoram or thyme). Sometimes, we even just simply tossed ketchup on the spaghetti, and that was for us, spaghetti with bolognese sauce.
The real Bolognese sauce aka meat sauce was first introduced to me, when I came to Canada. Since then, I have tasted many versions of bolognese sauce. Some of them were great, some not so good, but never close to the sauce I make today. Well, first I started to follow random recipes from my Italian-Canadian friends. Then followed few recipes randomly chosen from the internet. But, it was never at my taste. There was always something missing or it was too much of certain ingredients, which overpowered the sauce.
So I started to combine the recipe, what my mom used to make and what my friends thought me. Involving root vegetables, few tips and tricks from my friends, such as using fresh basil and bacon. And my biggest secret of all; gourmet trio ground meat. And one day, finally I nailed it. From this moment on, I will never make any other meat sauce for spaghetti.
GOURMET TRIO GROUND MEAT + BACON
Why am I using trio ground meat? This is just in my opinion saying, that if you combine all three ground meats together; beef, pork and veal, the taste is much much better. The meat is much tastier, juicier and have much better texture, if combined together.
I have been using trio ground meat, in all my recipes, when it involves ground meat, such as meatballs in tomato sauce , meat loaf, stuffed peppers or hamburgers, etc. I found, when those three meats are combined together, it gives much better and juicier taste. And bacon! Well I am sure, that I don’t need to convince you, that bacon makes every meal even better 🙂
TRIO HEARTY VEGETABLES
These three mighty hearty vegetables are my another favorite trio (from vegetables), that I love to use in my meat sauce or in any kind of vegetable base for ground meat, beef stews, soups or my famous recipe for national meal of Czech Republic Roasted beef with creamy vegetable sauce & dumplings.
allspice (Jamaica pepper)
And last, but not least, my favorite trio choice of herbs is basil (you can use dry or fresh basil), bay leaf always gives amazing flavor and allspice (some of you might know it under name as Jamaica pepper) has a great light smoky flavor. I was always puzzled, how this spice has traveled from Jamaica to Easter Europe…I guess Columbus must have played a big role in this!
Key in this tasty bolognese sauce, is small pieces of vegetables. I always cut them on small cubes of half of an inch. It cooks faster and my kids don’t need to wait forever for their favorite meat sauce.
DICED, STRAINED OR FRESH TOMATOES?
Easy question for me; I use always strained tomatoes, it’s the only version accepted by my kids at this moment. My son doesn’t like tomato skin, nor the seeds of tomatoes, so this is the main reason, why I use strained tomatoes. On the other hand, fresh tomatoes or diced tomatoes gives nice texture to the sauce bolognese. So if you don’t have any “kids” restrictions, as I have, go with fresh or diced tomatoes.
You can also use tomato puree, you just add more water to dilute, so you do not end up with bolognese paste, instead of bolognese sauce. The cooking time is really minimum, if I won’t count the prepping vegetables, cooking time would come to max. of 30 minutes. So, on the weeknights, it’s a winner in my kitchen. When I decide to prepare bolognese sauce during the weekend, I make sure to make double batch and freeze it. Then when time comes, it’s a perfect treasure find in a freezer.
MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR BOLOGNESE SAUCE
- make double portion to freeze it for later use!
Toppings like Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese or simple toasted pine nuts (in the picture) adds delicious finish to bolognese sauce.
THE BEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Preparation time: 20 minutes ⭐cooking time: 20-30 minutes⭐ servings: 4-6 persons
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small root celery, cut in small cubes
- 2 medium carrots, cut in small cubes
- 1 -2 medium parsnip, cut in small cubes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dry paprika powder
- 4 balls allspice
- 1 tsp dry basil or 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped finely
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground veal
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 -4 cups strained tomatoes
- 1 cups chicken broth or water
- Parmesan or provolone cheese for topping
- Optional: 3 tbsp of tomato paste
- Cut the vegetables in small cubes. Chop finely the onion and mince the garlic. Cut the bacon on small pieces. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over high heat, saute bacon for 5 minutes, then add olive oil and saute onion, garlic and the rest of the vegetables for another 5 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper and add remaining seasoning: dry paprika, bay leaf, allspice.
- Add ground meats. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and stir occasionally until the meat has browned.
- Stir in the strained tomatoes and add the broth (or water).
- Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt or pepper, if desired.
- Optional, now add, for profound taste 3 tbsp of tomato paste.
- Pour over your favorite pasta and enjoy!