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How to Make Halal Bolognese Sauce

Updated on July 22, 2013
Homemade Bolognese sauce with a halal makeover!
Homemade Bolognese sauce with a halal makeover! | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Halal Bolognese Sauce

About Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese is a meat sauce for pasta that originated in Bologna, Italy. Traditional Bolognese sauce is made up mostly of meat, with vegetables and a small amount of tomato, as opposed to the typical tomato-based pasta sauce, such as a marinara. Bolognese sauce is also slow-cooked over a pretty long period of time, which means this is not a recipe that can be made at the last minute! Variations of Bolognese have become popular world-wide, and are often referred to as “Spaghetti Bolognese” or “Spag-Bog.” Despite the global popularity of serving Bolognese sauce with spaghetti, this is not done in Italy, as the sauce tends to be too heavy for this type of pasta. Bolognese sauce, or Ragu alla Bolognese, is usually served with tagiatelle in Italy.

Another traditional preparation for Bolognese sauce is to use it in lasagna, which is then topped with a Béchamel sauce to make Bolognese-style lasagna.

The recipe below is prepared using traditional ingredients and cooking methods, but with several substitutions to make the recipe suitable for those following a halal diet.

Halal Substitutions

Bolognese sauce traditionally calls for the use of diced pancetta. This is sometimes substituted with bacon. In this halal version, I have substituted the pancetta with soujouk, a flavorful and versatile halal sausage. You could also use halal beef bacon, for a slightly more traditional flavor.

Wine (traditionally white wine) is another important ingredient in Bolognese sauce. In this version, I have substituted white grape juice for the wine. Now, I know putting grape juice into a pasta sauce sounds pretty weird, but oddly enough, it works! This is because of the way that Bolognese sauces are prepared, by cooking the meat in first wine (juice, in this case), until all of the liquid is cooked off, and then in milk—again, until all of the liquid is cooked off—before adding in the tomatoes.

The only other substitution to note is, of course, to be sure that the ground meat you use is halal. You can use nearly any type of meat you like, just be sure to get lean meat. This is pretty easy when buying halal meat, as halal meat in general tends to be leaner than meats found in the average grocery store.

Serving Suggestions

Because Bolognese sauces are so thick and chunky, it is best to use a heartier pasta to accompany the sauce. Try tagiatelle, rigatoni, or another fun-shaped pasta like cavatappi. You may serve the sauce in a small mound on top of the pasta, or mix the pasta and sauce together before serving.

When serving the dish, be sure to offer shredded parmesan for sprinkling on top of the pasta, and warm garlic bread for scooping up the sauce!

Note: this sauce is so thick and hearty, your garlic bread must be used for “scooping” rather than “dipping!”

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 hours 45 min
Ready in: 9 hours
Yields: Serves 8

Soujouk: a versatile halal sausage, it is available in hot and mild varieties

Tagiatelle: the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mild soujouk, diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pound lean halal beef or veal, coarsely ground
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the soujouk and fry until crisp around the edges.
  3. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ground beef or veal and cook just until the meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add the white grape juice to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the juice has evaporated.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the milk and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently, until all of the milk has evaporated.
  7. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands, then add to the pot along with the tomato paste, parsley, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Stir well.
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer.
  9. Cook, uncovered (or partially covered), for 4-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  10. Serve hot, over al dente pasta.

Halal Bolognese Sauce

Cooking Bolognese sauce can be a pretty complex process. Make sure to prep your ingredients ahead of time so you can focus on making the sauce right.
Cooking Bolognese sauce can be a pretty complex process. Make sure to prep your ingredients ahead of time so you can focus on making the sauce right. | Source
Heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the soujouk until crispy around the edges.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the soujouk until crispy around the edges. | Source
Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. | Source
Add the meat and cook just until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the meat and cook just until the meat is no longer pink. | Source
Add the white grape juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the juice has evaporated.  This can take a little while, but don't worry, your patience will be rewarded!
Add the white grape juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the juice has evaporated. This can take a little while, but don't worry, your patience will be rewarded! | Source
Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the milk and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring frequently until all of the milk is evaporated.  Again, patience is key!
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the milk and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently until all of the milk is evaporated. Again, patience is key! | Source
Add the whole tomatoes (crushed with your hands), tomato paste, parsley, basil, oregano and bay leaves.  Stir well.
Add the whole tomatoes (crushed with your hands), tomato paste, parsley, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Stir well. | Source
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a very low simmer.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a very low simmer. | Source
Allow to simmer for 4-8 hours, uncovered.  As you can see, the sauce will have reduced quite a bit by this time.
Allow to simmer for 4-8 hours, uncovered. As you can see, the sauce will have reduced quite a bit by this time. | Source
You may serve the sauce over al dente pasta, or you may toss the pasta in the sauce before serving, as I have done here.
You may serve the sauce over al dente pasta, or you may toss the pasta in the sauce before serving, as I have done here. | Source
Buon Appetito!
Buon Appetito! | Source

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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      This recipe for Halal Bolognese sauce looks really good. The many images help to show how this recipe is made as well as how delicious the sauce looks.

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks! This is definitely a sauce that is well worth the time and effort of preparation.

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 2 years ago from Texas

      Your images are helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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