Authentic Bolognese sauce, done correctly, is complex, takes hours, and requires time, patience, care, and numerous ingredients. This is not that type of Bolognese recipe (I’ll be sharing my authentic Bolognese in a few weeks). But here is a recipe for those days you are in a rush, craving a meaty sauce, hearty and rich, and perfect in lasagna, with spaghetti, or over cheese-filled ravioli or tortellini.
For every 1 lb. ground beef (I prefer 90/10):
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 – 28 oz. can Stewed Tomatoes, retain liquid and separately puree tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large garlic clove, minced fine
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
I like to use the BELLA 5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven for this sauce (featured in photos). It is ideal for one-pot cooking, especially when the first step is browning meat and then adding additional ingredients.
Begin by heating the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat and then adding the minced garlic. Once you sweat the garlic (be sure not to brown or burn the garlic), add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the liquid only from the stewed tomatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens and reduces slightly. Add the pureed tomatoes, the salt, sugar, and pepper. Mix until well incorporated and simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cream and basil, and continue to simmer covered for about 15 minutes, then uncovered an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook longer if desired (to continue thickening).