Friday, June 5, 2015

Homemade Bolognese

Missy, here. I thought I'd bring back a recipe from way back in 2011. It's one of my favorites, so I'm sharing it again...

The way this meal started is that I got a deal at the grocery store. :) Ground pork for $1.69 a pound. I grabbed up several packages and then realized I'd never used ground pork before. I had to find a recipe!

The original recipe that I settled on is from the Martha Stewart website. (Click here to see the original.) You'll see as I go that I changed a few things, mainly because I didn't have exactly what I needed. So let's cook!

Pork Bolognese

Ingredients (from

  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped (I used pre-cooked)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine  (I used red)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used a mix of skim and half-and-half)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Cooked penne rigate, for serving
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat until fat is released, 5 minutes. [I used pre-cooked bacon that I had on hand, so I just heated through and added a bit of olive oil]

Add onion, carrot, and celery [my family would go on strike if I used celery, so I left out]; cook until soft, 6 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; add pork and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 7 minutes.

Add tomato paste; cook until pork is coated, 4 minutes.

Add wine (I didn't have white so used red, which turned out delicious); cook until reduced by three-fourths. 

Add 1 cup milk (I didn't have whole milk so mixed skim with half & half); cook until reduced by half. Add tomato sauce, broth, bay leaf, thyme (I used dried), 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Stir in 1/4 cup milk.

[I didn't have an hour. So I cut back to 1-1/2 cups chicken broth and cooked a half hour. It was a little thin but was very tasty anyway.]

Serve sauce over pasta (I used linguine), topped with cheese.

For fun, I have a set of pasta dishes that I bought at the grocery store years ago.

I hope you enjoy!!

Do y'all eat as much pasta as we do around here?



  1. WOW. That looks delicious! I'm surrounded by Italians here and I'm completely cowed by their ability to cook amazing pasta dishes. Although they've taught me how to make great meatballs, biscotti, lasagna and baked ziti, I'm still nervous about those sauces. I think I could do this...

    1. Virginia, if I can do it, you certainly can! You'll love this.

  2. Missy, how awesome can you get! I love how you didn't have enough time (as the recipe specified) for the instructions, so you just improvised. I'm still giggling : )

    1. Audra, thanks for stopping by! You'll see that I usually improvise because I never seem to have the time or the right ingredients. LOL

  3. Hey, Missy! I'm definitely going to make this. It looks delicious.

  4. Virginia, my girlfriend is Italian and she finally got tired of my attempts and taught me how to do the real "Italian" sauce. Oh my, what a blessing and now my sauce is soooooooo yummy.

    1. I've tried before but I'm NOT good at improvising. Where Missy's improvising turns out great, mine would be ruined! lol. I love this recipe though. Step by step!

  5. This looks so wonderful! I'll have to put ground pork on my shopping list!

    We don't eat as much pasta as we used to, now that the growing children are grown. But it's still a go-to when one of them is cooking for themselves.

    Thanks for the reminder recipe, Missy!

    1. Jan, I'll make pasta regularly even after the kids are gone. It's my husband's favorite thing!