Spaghetti Bolognese

                                    photo: by June Hersh

by June Hersh,The Kosher Carnivore, (St. Martin's Press)

Spaghetti Bolognese is all about the meat. The stock, sautéed aromatics, touch of tomato sauce and pinch of oregano are all designed to support the main focus; slow simmered ground beef. Together they produce a robust and full-bodied sauce that screams to be scooped up with crusty bread and twirled onto large pasta laden spoons.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 carrot, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 celery rib, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, or pasta of your choice


Heat the oil in a large skillet, cook and stir the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and red pepper flakes, over medium heat, about 10 minutes.  Crumble and add the ground beef to the skillet, use the back of the spoon to break up any clumps of meat.  You want the texture to be coarse, not clunky. Cook, over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Add the red wine and half the stock.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.  After that time, add the remaining ½ cup of stock, cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes longer. After an hour, stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking until ready to serve.  It can be as little as 15 minutes more or hours, as long as the stove is kept to a very low simmer.

While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, leaving it al dente as it will cook a few minutes in the sauce.  Drain and reserve a cup of pasta water. Stir the pasta into the skillet, cook for a few minutes adding a little pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.

                               photo: by June Hersh


About 4 servings
Start to finish  Under 2 hours

Behind the Counter  Lean, but not extra lean ground beef works well, as would a combination of ground beef and ground veal (+$)

Feedback  Rather than buying tomato paste in the can, where most of it goes to waste, keep a tube of tomato paste in the fridge.  Anchovy paste can also be bought in a tube and makes adding anchovy flavor to a dish, so easy and economical.

Recipes: Meat,Ground Beef, Spaghetti, Kosher

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