Fettuccine Bolognese (That’s Inexpensive and Easy to Make)

A true, classic Bolognese is made with ingredients such as veal, pancetta and a good beef stock. When you are cooking on a shoestring budget, veal and pancetta aren’t the sort of ingredients you typically throw into the shopping cart. Not to mention the fact that some people object to veal from a purely ethical standpoint.

Years ago, I fell in love with Bolognese – having my first bite at a Dan Tana’s little unassuming Italian eatery in Hollywood. (And, yeah – it truly is where the stars dine. As the evening progressed, I began to feel that ours was the only non-celebrity table in the joint). I began ordering anything Bolognese off the menu anytime we dined at authentic Italian restaurants. Yum. Couldn’t get enough of it – so rich, meaty and delicious.

Circumstances and life in general changed. Gone were the days of dining out on a regular bases. Gone were the days when shopping “top shelf” was a regular habit. Still, I loved Bolognese anything. The challenge became a way to cook up a sauce that was rich, meaty and incredibly delicious without the use of more expensive ingredients.  Pancetta was easy to substitute – bacon would do the trick. Veal, well there is no substitute to the mild, milky flavor of veal. Yet using ground beef alone over-powered the sauce. I need a ground meat that was mild, with good texture that would complement the ground beef. Lean ground pork gave the sauce that extra layer of meaty ingredients without demanding too much attention. The results are a rich, creamy sauce that is so unbelievably flavorful. Whenever I make this dish, it gets rave reviews.

Fettuccine Bolognese
1 Jar Pasta Sauce – favorite
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 lb Lean Ground Pork
4 strips Bacon, cooked crisp
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1/2 Cup Carrots, chopped fine
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped fine
1/4 to 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb. tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh)

Finely chop carrots, onion and garlic. Set aside until ready to use.

Cook bacon crisp in a large skillet. Remove bacon, set aside. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease.

Add onion, carrots and garlic, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add ground beef and pork, cook 10-15 minutes or until browned evenly. Drain off excess fat.

Add pasta sauce, wine and Italian seasonings. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Place pasta noodles into boiling water, stirring to keep from pasta from lumping together. Maintain boil to keep the pasta “dancing” throughout the cooking process. Cook al dente, about 5 minutes for fresh, 10 if using dried pasta. Drain noodles

When starting the pasta, add enough whipping cream to the sauce to change the color to a pale reddish-pink color. Taste and adjust as needed. Sauce should be rich in flavors. Continue to simmer until hot. Serve over pasta, toss to mix.

Sauce can also be made in a crock pot and allowed to simmer for up to 8 hours. Remove cover from crock pot during last 30 minutes to allow sauce to thicken. Add cream at the end.

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