Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pappardelle Pasta Bolognese

Pappardelle Pasta Bolognese

Last summer, while on vacation in Maine, I had pasta bolognese that was so under-whelming and bland that it never occurred to me to want to make it for myself. But a more recent experience was far more pleasant. Over the Independence Day weekend, we dined at a lovely waterfront restaurant on the south shore of Long Island and I ordered the bolognese. I wasn't sure what to expect but I wanted a pasta dinner since the rest of the holiday weekend was shaping up to be a meat-intensive grill-fest.

What arrived couldn't have been more different than what I was served last summer! This was a big bowl of perfectly cooked pappardelle pasta in a rich, creamy and well-seasoned sauce flecked with fresh basil and topped with a generous dollop of soft ricotta cheese. It was so good that I had to keep Brian (who had ordered an excellent salmon) from eating half of it out from under me! And now, I suddenly wanted to cook a bolognese. Enjoy!

1 lb. Pappardelle pasta
1 lb. Ground beef
1 Large carrot
1 1/2 Stalks celery
1 Medium onion
4 Large cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Cup milk
3 Cups tomato sauce
Handful of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Chop the carrot, celery, onion and garlic into a very small dice. The vegetables are meant to almost melt into the sauce so a food processor or small chopper works well for this. Add the olive oil and diced vegetables into a saute pan and cook until softened. Remove the cooked vegetables from the pan, add the ground beef and brown. Add the tomato sauce (home made or whatever brand you like) and the milk and simmer on low heat for approximately an hour.

In a separate pot, cook the pasta, drain and add to the meat sauce. Toss in a handful of chopped fresh basil and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste and serve with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese on top. Makes approximately 4 servings.


  1. I was just thinking about trying a recipe like this out of one of my cookbooks. Now I am even more intriqued. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am a huge bolognese fan! This recipe looks fantastic!

  3. I developed a taste for bolognese sauce when living in Korea. They love it over there. :)

  4. You said to remove veggies then brown meat but didn't say when to add them back in? Would u add them back in after simmering with the pasta?

    1. Hi Jessica - good question and sorry for any confusion. I only removed them from the pot to allow the meat to brown so I add them back in at the same time you're adding the tomato sauce.


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