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Recipe: How to make Spaghetti Bolognese

Updated on August 17, 2013

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Spaghetti Bolonese Recipe

Spaghetti bolonese, or spaghetti bolonesa, is an affordable way to make restaurant-style spaghetti in your home kitchen. What identifies a bolonese sauce is two key ingredients: beef and carrots. These hearty ingredients give the sauce great flavor and value.

You will need the following ingredients:

1 flank steak (1lb.)

2 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion

1 lbs. spaghetti

1 pound of carrots

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Begin with an affordable flank steak (about 1 pound of meat for 1 pound of pasta). This cut is a little tough, so I recommend tenderizing it by beating it with a tenderizer or rolling pin. Some people use a wine bottle for this, but I'm too afraid I would miss, hit the counter and shatter glass all over my food. I recommend using a real tenderizer instead.

After the meat is well tenderized, salt both sides lightly and let it rest.

Grate a pound of carrots, slice two cloves of garlic, and dice one yellow onion. This may look like a lot of carrots. If you don't want to wear out your arm, you could also use a food processor to speed this whole process up. The carrots add great color, sweetness, nutrition to the sauce, but you do not have to use the whole pound if you are not crazy about carrots.

The garlic and onions are all about flavor. If you like garlic consider doubling how much you use in this recipe to four cloves. You may also mince on of the cloves and add it last to maximize the garlic flavor. If you want to add crushed red pepper, add it after the garlic. The red pepper adds heat and depth to the flavor of the sauce. You can increase or decrease the amount based on your preferences.

Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a thick bottomed pot, dutch oven or deep skillet.

Sear the tenderized flank steak on both sides and cook it to medium. Remove the steak from the put, but do not clean the pot yet. In the same pot put your diced onions. After 2 minutes of stirring the onions over medium heat, add the garlic and carrots.

Cook these together for five more minutes or until the carrots are fully cooked. Then add one 16oz. can of crushed tomatoes (plum tomatoes if you can find them).

Simmer this for 10 minutes while your spaghetti cooks. After you have drained the pasta, cut your steak into small cubes and add it to the simmering sauce. Dress your pasta by placing pasta and sauce in the same skillet or bowl and mixing well.

Top all of it with grated Parmesan. Enjoy.

Wine Pairing for Spaghetti Bolonese

The wine pairing should be a dry red wine. Beyond that recommendation, think about what kind of vibe you want to give your diner guests. A rustic chianti or Italian table wine suggests the same humble Italian roots as the pasta. If you want a more new world bold flavor think about an Argentine Malbec or an Australian Shiraz. Both of these wines have a lot of flavor and go well with a spicier version of the bolonese (red pepper included).


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