Spicy yet traditional bolognese over orecchiette So BACK OFF you Italian Chefs you!

As you already know, I travel a lot between Chicago and Indiana. Two weekends ago – I skipped that trip entirely. Jeff had to work an ungodly amount of overtime and see, he is already a bit of a crab even when he isn’t working… so make him work that much?!? Yea, I was safer, saner and happier in the sanctity of my sweet home Chicago. (BIT of a crab… oh ha ha ha ha haaaaa I slay me…) So when I got there, I tried to make him happy by first making coffee dispense out of all the water faucets. Then I lit some pork scented candles. And finally I made some of my delizioso piccante bolognese.

My bolognese is rather traditional. No I was not one of the 400 Italian chef’s whipping up the perfect and authentic bolognese sauce but I might as well been. Sorry signores – but I bet mine is better. Nyah nyah plippppt…


Acquistare lo seguito (Which loosely translates to whatcha need…)

2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 onion diced
2 carrots – diced
2 stalks celery – diced
4 cloves garlic – diced
1/2 # beef – ground
1/2 # pork – ground
1/2 # veal – ground
1 C Milk (I used 2%)
1 C dry white wine
1 C beef or veal broth
32 oz. can of whole tomatoes
1+ t red pepper flakes (to taste – we added more…)
Bay leaf
Nutmeg (to taste – I add about half a nut)
1 t thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Cosa c’? bisogno di fare (Which loosely translates to the torturous steps to achieve bolognese perfection…)

In a large stock pot or dutch oven melt the butter and olive oil together. Add onions, carrot and celery (also known as a mirepoix) and cook till onions are translucent. About 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, pork, lamb and beef. Cook till no longer pink. At this point if you would like to drain off some of the grease you can. I like to keep it around for giggles… and flavor.

Add the milk and the nutmeg and cook about 8 minutes. Most of the milk will have cooked down.

If you haven’t drank the wine by now – add that and also cook for about 8 minutes, or until most of it has cooked down.

Add the can of tomatoes, the broth, the bay and the thyme if using dried herbs. (I did in this dish.) Now let this baby barely simmer – uncovered – for about 3-4 hours. I know that seems excessive, and I have made this simmering for only 2 hours. But trust me on this. The longer the better.

About an hour from when you are planning to eat, add the crushed red pepper.

When you are about ready to eat. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, nutmeg, red pepper, etc to taste. Oh and make your pasta. I chose orecchiette because the sauce clings to it like – oh my crazy. Toss pasta with sauce, top with Parmesan and serve. Or don’t top with Parmesan. I know some of you meat sauce aficionados say oh the horror! No parmesan with a meat sauce!!! But I say if you like the damn parm, spread the damn parm love!

And that is it!

In truth, I am not even sure the bolognese made crab ass happy. He ate it awfully fast. I remember him saying something with his mouth full…

Might have been more coffee please…

Cooked up by Heather


  1. 23
    January 20

    Oh my!! Just throw that bolognese over some pappardelle over some angel hair over some linguine over some oreccietta over some spoon and into my mouth!! YUM! Love the bolognese sauce. This looks just too tasty. My stomach’s growling.

  2. 22
    November 26

    I’ve made this a couple of times already. I’ve adapted the recipe to be significantly less traditional (and to add some extra veggies), but it’s a great base. I never would have thought to add nutmeg to my sauce (or cook it for so gosh darn long) but it makes my whole dorm smell phenomenal!

  3. 21
    February 24

    Ha ha ha pork scented candles. I imagine my husband would love that.

  4. 20
    February 8

    I would love this pasta. I also like to add nutmeg to my sauce.

  5. 19
    February 8

    I get pretty crabby when I have to work/study too hard. If you ever want to come to NYC I have an air mattress. And a big pot to make some of this in. Hint. Hint.

    Looks DELICIOUS!

  6. 18
    February 8

    Love the pasta, specially with the mix of different ground meats…yummie!

  7. 17
    February 8

    wat? nutmeg? can you add it to your ingredient list :o

    • 17.1
      February 9

      Wroops! Noted and added. I have this issue. I omit one ingredient from the list every time. It is like my “easter egg” for the site.

  8. 16
    February 7

    I love a gal who speaks Italian and travels with pork scented candles!
    Delicious looking bolognese. :)

  9. 15
    February 6

    Ummm…this is excellent! Luckily it makes enough for leftovers. Snaps, Heather.

  10. 14
    February 6

    Just found your site through TasteSpotting. Looks great… I’m making this tonight! :)

  11. 13
    February 6

    wait. do you really have pork-scented candles? be still my heart.

  12. 12
    February 6

    That looks great, a rich rewarding pasta sauce to warm the cockles of your heart.

  13. 11
    February 6

    Oh love that mix of meats! Send some of those pork scented candles our way. Perfect with the lard soap we bought in San Francisco.

  14. 10
    February 6

    Great recipe to make during this freezing snowy time. Looks fabulous.

  15. 9
    February 5

    Where do I get pork scented candles???

  16. 8
    February 5

    Um, yum! ANyone who says no to parm is a tool. I’ll eat parm with and on anything, or alone. Bring on the parm!

  17. 7
    February 5

    Oh yummmmmmm, Bossy can smell it from here…

  18. 6
    February 5

    Yum! Sounds delish. And I LOVE orrechiette – that’s the part my husband would have grumbled at. He says it has has “too much texture”. Oh the horror!

  19. 5
    February 5

    This looks delicious! Cannot wait to try it!

  20. 4
    February 5

    Mine growled too. Dangit Heather, you know I have no food in my house right now…. I’m signing off to buy ingredients. :)

  21. 3
    February 5

    Freakin’ gorgeous pic, and that recipe has me drooling! I love traditional + spicy bolognese.

  22. 2
    February 5

    It looks delicious. It would make my crab ass happy!

  23. 1
    February 5

    That seriously just made my stomach growl. It looks incredible! How that couldn’t lift someone out of their crab state is beyond me.