Classic Italian Bolognese

Classic Italian Bolognese served at Parker at the Fontaine.

Classic Italian Bolognese like the one served at Parker at the Fontaine in Kansas City is ideal for warming up cold winter nights – and it’s also deceptively easy to make at home. Parker at the Fontaine executive chef Ryan Spruhan recommends serving this rich meat sauce with pappardelle or tagliatelle pasta.

“I prefer using good canned tomatoes in the winter. During the growing season, I would recommend the ripest local tomatoes available.” –Ryan Spruhan

Bolognese

Recipe by Ryan Spruhan, executive chef, Parker at the Fontaine

Serves | 12 |

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 slices bacon, finely diced
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, medium dice
  • ¾ lbs carrots, peeled, medium dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 6 oz heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves and 1 sprig fresh thyme, added to an herb sachet
  • sherry vinegar, to taste
  • granulated sugar, to taste
  • cooked pasta (to serve)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to serve)

| Preparation | In a large mixing bowl, combine beef and pork, breaking meat apart using a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Portion mixture into large meatballs.

In a wide, shallow braiser or Dutch oven over low heat, render and sweat bacon, about 10 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook for 10 minutes more. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and stir to combine.

In a large sauté pans over medium-high heat, add prepared meatballs and, using a wooden spoon, smash slightly, one at a time, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until dark brown. Flip and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more on opposite side; you may need to do this in batches. Transfer cooked meatballs to vegetable mixture in braiser or Dutch oven. Stir to combine, and using a clean wooden spoon, break up meat. Let simmer, 10 minutes.

Add red wine to sauté pan to deglaze, scraping up any fond using a clean wooden spoon. Reduce wine to slightly less than ¼ of original volume; add to mixture in braiser or Dutch oven. Add heavy cream and herb sachet and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until a thick, chililike consistency; about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add sherry vinegar and sugar to taste if desired.

Spoon Bolognese over cooked pasta and top with Parmesan; serve.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Liz Miller is editor in chief of Feast Magazine.

More Main Courses articles.