Make Ahead

Rigatoni Bolognese

October 13, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by David White
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Bolognese sauce was one of the first recipes I ever really started to cook, and after many years of cooking it I've finally gotten to a recipe that I really enjoy. Requires a dutch oven. —David White

What You'll Need
  • 1 large container of mirepoix (or 3/4-1 cup each of diced celery, carrots, and onions)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 2.5 pounds meatloaf blend meat (beef, pork, and veal)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, plus 1 cup water to rinse the can
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and bacon fat and cook until fat is rendered, 8-10 minutes. Add mirepoix and cook until soft, another 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more.
  2. Increase heat to medium high and add ground meat mix and cook until all browned, 10 minutes. Keep heat on high and reduce until most liquid is evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Add red wine and reduce liquid, 8 minutes more.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and water, 1 cup of half and half, salt, pepper, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 hours.
  4. Once a layer of fat has covered the top, turn off heat and skim the fat. This can either be done right away or you can leave in the fridge for a few hours until the fat has solidified. Once fat is skimmed, bring sauce back to a boil and add last cup of half and half, parmesan cheese, and fish sauce. Stir quickly until mixed and emulsified, then reduce for 10-15 minutes more on medium heat.
  5. While sauce is reducing, bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and strain pasta. Add pasta and reserved water to sauce and combine, then cook 2 minutes more. Can be served immediately or stored in fridge for up to a week.

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