This Pappardelle Bolognese is the ultimate pasta dinner, where a rich meat tomato sauce simmers for hour.
Why You’ll Love It
- Rich Flavors: The combination of pancetta, ground beef, and pork creates a deeply savory and meaty sauce. Each bite is packed with layers of flavor
- Perfect Texture: The milk in the sauce adds a subtle creaminess, complementing the hearty texture of the meat. The pappardelle pasta, with its wide and flat shape, is perfect for holding onto this rich, thick sauce.
- The Ultimate Comfort Food: There’s something incredibly comforting about a big bowl of pasta with homemade Bolognese sauce. It’s the kind of dish that warms you from the inside out, perfect for any day of the year.
- Easiness Factor: Although the sauce takes a long time to cook, it doesn’t require much hands on time. Just let it simmer away, and in a few hours you’ll have a restaurant-quality meal.
- Gourmet Impressiveness: You can wow guests, or feed a big crowd for a special Sunday dinner.
Aromatics: Carrots, celery, and onion, combined as soffritto, along with garlic. These provide depth, a subtle sweetness, and essential savory notes, forming a well-rounded flavor base.
Ground Meats: Ground beef and ground pork. The mix of these meats provides a rich, complex flavor. Ground lamb or veal can also go in the mix.
Tomato Elements: Tomato paste for concentrated flavor, and San Marzano tomatoes for sweetness and lower acidity, balancing the sauce.
Base Liquids: Dry white wine to add acidity and complexity, and beef broth for enhancing the meaty flavor and richness of the sauce.
Milk: To soften the acidity of the tomatoes and add a subtle creaminess to the sauce.
Pancetta: Adds a smoky, salty depth to the sauce.
Pasta: Pappardelle, with its wide and flat shape, is ideal for holding onto the rich, meaty sauce.
How to Make Pappardelle Bolognese
1. Crisp the Pancetta: In a large pot (we used a 7qt dutch oven), cook the pancetta until it begins to crisp up. Remove to a plate.
2. Sauté Soffritto: Over medium heat, add the soffritto. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes soft and aromatic.
3. Brown the Meat: Add in the meat and garlic. Cook till it is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as you go along. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Complete the Sauce: Next add in the wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, beef broth and cooked pancetta.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, adding the milk in the last 45 minutes to one hour of cooking time. While it’s cooking, check out our collection of favorite Italian recipes!
5. Cook the Pasta: When sauce has about 20 minutes left to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions to desired doneness.
6. Serve: We like to serve the pasta topped with sauce. Some prefer to toss them together before serving. Try both ways and see which is your favorite!
Leftovers and Storage
The sauce on its own stores very well, and in fact gets even better after resting. Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4-5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
If you have tossed the pasta in with the sauce, we do not recommend freezing. However, you can still refrigerate it for 4-5 days. The pasta may absorb some of the sauce, but a little water or olive oil can be added to loosen it up.
- Tomatoes Matter: Use high-quality tomatoes like San Marzano for the best flavor. Similarly, good quality meat will significantly enhance the taste of your Bolognese.
- Soffritto: Take your time to cook the soffritto until it’s soft and aromatic. This is crucial for developing the base flavor of the sauce.
- Breaking Down the Meat: As the meat cooks, break it up into fine pieces. This ensures the meat is well-integrated into the sauce, providing a better texture and flavor distribution.
- Deglaze with Wine: When you add wine, make sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. These bits add a lot of flavors.
- Slow Cook the Sauce: Allow the sauce to simmer gently for several hours. This slow cooking process helps develop a deeper, richer flavor. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.
- Balancing Flavors: Taste the sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasonings as needed. Adding a pinch of sugar can balance the acidity of the tomatoes if necessary.
- Rest the Sauce: If time allows, let the sauce rest for a while after simmering. Some people even like to cook it the day before eating, refrigerating it overnight.
The next time you crave Italian, go beyond the basic pasta, and treat yourself to a slow simmered pot of bolognese.
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Pappardelle Bolognese, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 4oz diced pancetta
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 6 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed in a bowl
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup milk
- salt, to taste
- 16oz pappardelle pasta
- In a large pot (we used a 7qt dutch oven), cook the pancetta until it begins to crisp up. Remove to a plate.
- Over medium heat, add the soffritto to the remaining pancetta grease. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes soft and aromatic.
- Add in the meat and garlic. Cook till it is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as you go along.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next add in the wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, beef broth and cooked pancetta.
- Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, adding the milk in the last 45 minutes to one hour of cooking time. Taste and adjust for salt.
- When sauce has about 20 minutes left to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions to desired doneness.
- Serve pasta topped with bolognese sauce.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 642Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 159mgSodium 332mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 41g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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