Serves a Crowd

Pink Bolognese

July  2, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

The following list of ingredients looks daunting -- it's not. Chances are, other than the ground meat, the fresh sage and the cream, you might have all these lurking in your pantry/fridge. The list of herbs is for dried -- if using fresh (always better, but no big deal in this recipe) double the amount -- more chopping for you! —Veronica

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 quart homemade or organic chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage plus 2 sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound short pasta, like penne rigate
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, brown the pork, veal and turkey over medium-high heat. Keep smashing and separating the meat while cooking. Transfer the browned meat to a bowl, and reserve. Return the pan to the stove.
  2. Add olive oil to the pan and place over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onion and garlic, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Stir in the tomatoes. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the chicken broth and all the herbs and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and continue simmering for another hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so -- you don't want any sticking or burning. The sauce should reduce and thicken.
  4. Pour in the cream and vodka and cook until sauce is the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Taste, taste, taste -- it's up to you.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then toss with the bolognese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • arhoad
  • ECMotherwell
  • Jestei
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield

6 Reviews

bgibbs January 5, 2021
My sauce is in progress, and it smells fantastic! I doubled the recipe with an eye to freezing half for later, but I have a question: should I take out the portion that is to be frozen before I add cream to the part that is to be eaten right away?
arhoad September 25, 2013
This is like crack....or what I imagine crack would be like! I made it 2 weeks ago and already am making it again. When I started making it tonight, my daughter cheered! Thank you-it's amazing.
ECMotherwell January 27, 2013
I made this last night for a dinner party of 12 adults with a rough doubling of the amounts listed here (I used a can of whole tomatoes, one fresh tomato, 1.5 pounds of ground beef, 1.25 pounds of hot sausage, 4 strips of bacon for good measure. Everything else doubled as written.) More than enough for everyone -- plenty of leftovers to enjoy this week. Guests raved, I loved it, and my husband weighed in with "Delicious. Delish!" Thank you, Veronica!
foodiebiztraveler February 24, 2012
OMG! I made this for a friend last night who has had hundreds of meals I've cooked. After eating about half of the whole amount he said, "You know...this may very well be the best thing you ever cooked." I made it again tonight for my husband and he agreed! THANK YOU!

What DOES the vodka add to it anyway? I've always been curious when I see that in a sauce.
Jestei December 19, 2009
This is good stuff, people. I used fresh sage and lots of it, and fresh rosemary, too. Funny how vodka seems so meaningless in the broader scheme of life, but it really does finish the dish nicely. A winner.
Kelsey B. July 28, 2009
I love bolognese and can't wait to make this.