Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bolognese Sauce - Stop buying jarred pasta sauce!!! are all in for a hilarious treat. Welcome to Frugal Gourmom TV!!!

I can barely even eat sauce from a jar anymore. It's too sweet and "fake" tasting to me. I've developed this over the past 10 years. It's easy, healthy and soooo delicious.   Please note that I never measure ANYTHING, so these are my best estimates of my measurements.

1 can plain tomato sauce - if you like a more "chunky" sauce, you can use crushed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste  (I buy the sauce & paste in bulk at Sam's Club b/c I use them so often)

1 lb of lean ground meat - I often use turkey b/c it's only $1.97/lb at Sam's Club, but I have ground beef in the freezer, so that's what I'm using tonight.  If you're a vegetarian, just eliminate the meat or use veggie ground.

A small handful of hard Italian cheese (Parmesan or Grana Padano)
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1/2 sweet bell pepper - I always use red, but you can use any other sweet pepper.
1 tbsp fennel seed - crushed. I use my mortar and pestal to really pulverize the seeds to a powder.
1/4 cup of red wine (if you have it...I often eliminate it b/c I am not a huge wine drinker, but if you have it on hand, use it. It really adds a great depth of flavor)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Jake likes to peel the garlic.

Start a large pot on medium heat. Add the protein/meat and start to cook slowly.  Get out your handy dandy food processor and mince the onion, garlic, carrot, celery & bell pepper to a near pulp.  My husband is not a fan of "chunky" sauce, so I hide all my veggies. If you like more chunks, just process to a mince...not a soup.

Add the veggies to the meat and continue to cook on medium heat. Toss in a little salt/pepper. Add the oregano, fennel & red pepper flakes. When the meat is cooked & the veggies have softened & released their moisture, add the tomato paste to the hot pan. Really work it into the meat/veggie mixture and let it cook for a couple minutes. Keep stirring it. The tomato paste gets a bit caramelized and it really changes the flavor from raw tomato taste to "Old Italian Grandma's Sauce" taste.

Once that has cooked a minute, add in the red wine if you have it. If not, jump to adding the can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes and incorporate it well. Add in the basil and honey. Taste it. Need more salt? Need more spice? Add it. Now just crank it down to low & let it simmer for 15 minutes.   At the end mix in the cheese & you are DONE!!!

I often to this process and then throw the sauce in the crock pot on low. It can simmer all day in there. You may need to add a little stock/water/wine so it isn't so thick if it's going to sit in there all day.

It freezes really well, so you may want to make a double batch & freeze it in portions so you always have homemade sauce on hand.

 This was a little experiment so I'd love any feedback. Are the pictures better? Did you like the video?

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