Oh people, I hate to do this to you. I really do. I know that it’s just a few weeks after New Year’s and we are all still running with that whole resolution mentality … but I simply can’t wait to share this mind-blowing pasta sauce with you. I know, it’s not very nice. In fact, it may be downright mean. But if you are going to stray from those resolution for a minute (which, let’s face it, we all will at some point) let it be with this pasta sauce. Trust me. The indulgence is sooooo worth it.
Just to give you an idea of what this deceptively simple looking bolognese sauce is bringing to the table, I give you two words: Bacon. Fat. Oh yea, I said it! And oh mama, is that some good stuff! Throw in some tomatoes, white wine, nutmeg, oh my! The complexity and depth of flavors in this sauce is far beyond the time commitment involved. In my house it has been renamed The Best Pasta Sauce Ever Made. Clearly, we aren’t terribly humble around these parts.
If you pair this sauce with whole wheat or low-carb pasta (like Dreamfields, which is pictured above), at least you can counter the weight of the words bacon fat with the fact that you are keeping it low-carb! Hey, sometimes you just have to play for the tie, right? This sauce is such a showstopper, truly an event all unto itself, that it’s worth all the calories. You will be making up excuses to make it. Trust me, I already am.
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground pork
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 large can (29 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh thyme)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Cooked whole wheat (or low carb) spaghetti or other pasta
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and the fat has released and become liquid, about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch the bacon so that it does not burn. If some pieces become too dark for your liking, just pick them out with a slotted spoon.
- Add the chopped onion and celery. Stir together with the bacon and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add the ground pork and cook until browned. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat.
- Add tomato paste and stir until pork is fully coated. Cook approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add wine and continue cooking until reduced by 3/4th, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add milk, stir to combine. Continue cooking until reduced by half, approximately 10 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, beef broth, bay leave, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let sauce simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving!
- Serve hot over cooked pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Inspired by Everyday Food's Pork Bolognese