Ragu alla Bolognese with Penne

Having a Melt Down

In a weeks time we have gone from scary low temps and severe wind chill warnings to heavy rains and flood warnings. A 57 degree temperature change in 4 days.
And while the temps may be climbing, winter is far from over. It’s still very damp and cold out and I need to be warmed from the inside out.

Today I’m feeling rather saucy. A bolognese, perhaps. Now, a genuine bolognese is a meat based sauce, that is slooooow simmered. Like 3 and 1/2 hours slow. It’s traditionally paired with tagliatelle, a fresh broad flat egg noodle which is similar to fettuccine. But since I spent the majority of the day running errands and dodging pot holes, I just don’t have 3 hours to simmer, and well, homemade pasta, not going to happen. Someday when I’m retired, maybe. Let’s be real. Probably not. Sorry Martha. I’m feeling so ashamed.

Here’s my version of this amazing pasta sauce.

1st photo

Ragu alla Bolognese with Penne

1 lb Penne Pasta ( I like De Cecco)
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
3 ounces pancetta, smalled diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion red onion, minced (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, minced (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, minced (1 cup)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes. Preferably San Marzano.
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine (something you like to drink, do not use cooking wine)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Mince carrots, celery and onion




Dice pancetta


Heat a saucepan, add the butter and oil. Add pancetta.

pancetta 2

Sauté on medium high heat until crisp and fat has rendered.

pancetta 3

Reduce heat to medium and add the minced carrots, onion and celery. Saute for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook until softened another 2 minutes.

carrots in pan 1

Push vegetables to the outside of the pan. Add another teaspoon of oil and add ground beef in center of pan.

ground beef 1

Break up the meat and cook until no longer pink.

ground beef 2

Add oregano and basil, salt, pepper and tomato paste, stir well. Add tomatoes and red wine.


Break up tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.

sauce 1

Add milk and stir.

sauce with milk

Cover and continue to simmer on very low heat for another 45 minutes.

sauce final

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Top penne with sauce, grated parmesan, parsley and serve. So yummy.

final photo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s