Happy Friday! I am going to keep today’s post short and sweet. Today we are sharing with you an absolutely delicious dish from our second cousin, Monica, who writes the blog “Just Everything“. Monica’s father owns an Italian restaurant and she learned how to make this from him. Between the two of us, we have made this dish a COUNTLESS number of times and it is always a crowd pleaser. I made this for my fiancé’s mother (my future mom…that feels weird to say!) and she is a VERY picky eater. She gobbled the entire thing down!
Here are some HELPFUL TIPS when you make this dish:
- Make sure you season (with s&p) EACH LAYER of your additions. So you will add the veggies and season them. Add the meat and season. Add the tomatoes, and season. Get it? It helps to develop the flavor for a delicious and rich end product.
- When you add the meat, cook it on high to brown it. This also helps with the flavor
- You CAN use plain beef to make this dish but I have tried it before and it honestly is not as good. Almost every store has a package of a mixture of the beef/pork/veal so get this! It really makes the dish taste SO much better with the three different meats.
- 1 small onion
- 3 celery stalks, leaves cut off
- 1 cup of baby carrots
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-1.5 lb ground veal/pork/beef mix (this is called the "meatloaf" mix in some food stores)
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- ~ 0.5 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- Chopped fresh parsley
- S&P, to taste
- 1 pound rigatoni
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Using a food processor, pulse the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor, that is okay. You can use a regular kitchen knife to do this but make sure you really get a nice, fine chop. We have used a kitchen knife before, and it came fine!
- In a pot or dutch oven saute the mirepoix of vegetables in olive oil over medium heat. Season with s&p. This will take about 5 minutes or so. Once you start to smell the fragrance of the veggies, add the ground meat.
- Increase to high heat (to deepen the flavor) and use a spoon to break up and brown the meat. Season with s&p.
- Once the meat is browned, add the crushed tomatoes and season again. Bring to a simmer.
- Once at a simmer, add the milk or heavy cream. If it seems like you need more liquid, just add a bit more.
- Allow the sauce to simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes.
- When the bolognese is almost ready, bring water to a boil (salt the water) and cook rigatoni until aldente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water to loosen sauce, if needed. Set pasta and water aside.
- To finish the bolognese, add fresh chopped parsley and add seasoning, if needed, and stir. If you need to loosen up the sauce a bit, add the pasta cooking water. Add some freshly grated parmesan and stir.
- Plate the pasta. Add parsley and parmesan to each plate and serve!