Monday, February 22, 2010

Pasta Bolognese

Bolognese is a meat-based sauce made with carrots, onions, celery, beef broth, tomatoes and milk or cream and is typically served over a flat, wide pasta such as tagliatelle.

This version comes from my new friend, Cook This, Not That. The authors have slimmed down the traditional recipe by using lean meats and low-fat milk. A slow simmer gets it nice and thick and perfect for using on your favorite fresh or dried pasta, or even polenta. It would also make a very tasty meat sauce for a lasagna or baked ziti dish.

While it's not a diet food by any stretch of the imagination, this hearty homemade sauce deserves a place in your dinner rotation.

Pasta Bolognese
Serves 6 - 8

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz. ground turkey
6 oz. ground pork
6 oz. ground sirloin
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes)
2 T. tomato paste (I used tomato paste with Italian herbs)
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 cup low-fat milk
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 package fresh fettucine (or more)
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and stir with a wooden spoon until the meat is broken up and no longer pink.

Drain any accumulated fat from the pan. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, milk and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the sauce for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 hours), until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm while you prepare the pasta.

Top the cooked pasta with the hot sauce. Serve sprinkled with the Parmesan cheese.

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