End-of-Summer Bolognese

Happy sunny Monday! Even though we’ll be ending this week in October, there is still a little bit of summer left in the air. Because of this, and because I’ve seen a number of you harvesting the last of your tomatoes this season, I have a delicious End-of-Summer Bolognese recipe from one of my favorite bloggers that is absolutely to die for. Dan Pelosi developed this twist on a traditional bolognese sauce that takes hours to make–this flavorful mix comes together quickly on the stove top. I hope you have the chance to work this into your dinner menu this week. Enjoy!

What You Need

  • Handful of pancetta or thick sliced bacon, cubed
  • ½ of an onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs. ground beef*
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups whole cherry, grape, or any small tomato
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • A heaping handful of fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1 lb pasta, preferably a really thick noodle
  • Grated parmesan cheese

What You Do

  1. Add a handful of pancetta or thick cut bacon chopped into cubes to your sauce pan and cook over medium until it’s nice and brown and has released a good amount of grease into the pan.
  2. To the pan, add 8 crushed garlic cloves, the chopped onion, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring as you go. You want your onions and garlic to get soft, browned, and translucent. It should smell amazing, too.
  3. Add 2 lbs. ground beef, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of nutmeg. Continue to cook over medium, using your spoon to break up the meat as it cooks and incorporate the spices throughout. Sauté until your meat is mostly cooked through with just a hint of pink.
  4. Now pour in the 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (pureéd is also good here) and stir over medium heat until combined into the meat. Add about 4 cups of cherry, grape, or any small tomato to the pan. Stir to incorporate the tomatoes into the meat sauce, and then bury 2 bay leaves into the sauce.
  5. Cover your pan and simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes to gently stew the tomatoes. You can stir here and there as you check on the sauce, but don’t go crazy.
  6. After 15-20 minutes, your tomatoes should be gently stewed but still in tact. Some may even still be firm, which I like because the tomatoes still end up tasting fresh and juicy when served.
  7. The tomatoes have done quite a bit of sweating, so we are going to add a 6 oz. can of tomato paste to thicken our sauce back up. Stir to incorporate the paste into the sauce as you continue to cook over medium.
  8. The sauce should be nice and thick now, and the flavors should be settled. Have a taste and add more spices to shift the flavors to your taste. At the very end, add a heaping handful of fresh torn basil leaves into the sauce and mix to combine. Serve your bolognese over pasta (preferably a nice thick noodle to hold the sauce) and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Bolognese can be made ahead and reheated before serving over pasta. Just like most tomato-based sauces, the flavors will only intensify over time.

*Any combination of ground meat would work here, feel free to play around with your favorites.

This is a good one! Hope you enjoy! Thanks to Dan Pelosi for sharing!


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My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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