Recipe courtesy of Cafe Pesto

Bolognese Pasta

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 55 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 4 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Basil Pesto:

Italian Sausage:

Bolognese Meat Sauce:

Pasta:

Directions

Special equipment:
nonstick wax paper
  1. For the basil pesto: Place basil leaves, grated cheese and garlic in the blender (with basil on the bottom).
  2. Add half of the oil and turn the blender on to medium, then add the rest of the oil and blend until smooth.
  3. Remove from blender and place in a bowl; check flavor and season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the Italian sausage: In a large mixing bowl, mix the three meats together. In a smaller bowl, mix the dried onion, garlic, fennel seeds, salt, oregano and black pepper together. Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  6. Line a sheet pan with nonstick wax paper and press the meat onto it, spreading it evenly in a 1/2-inch layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let chill completely in the fridge. Crumble up the sausage.
  7. For the bolognese meat sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, then add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, then add 3 cups crumbled Italian sausage and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir into the sausage, then cook for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine to the pan and cook until evaporated. Add the marinara sauce, beef/chicken stock and bay leaf, then turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Give the sauce a taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  8. For the pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water (do not rinse the pasta with cold water when it is finished). Drain, then return it the cooking pot and toss it with the basil pesto.
  9. Place 1 cup pasta in a bowl, then top with 1/2 cup meat sauce, a tablespoon of the sour cream mix and grated Parmesan. If you wish, top with chopped fresh basil.

Cook’s Note

The basil pesto will stay fresh in the fridge for 7 to 10 days. It makes a great topping for toasted bread or an addition to a nice luncheon meat or tomato mozzarella sandwich. For the Italian Sausage: You can double or triple this recipe; extra sausage can be frozen in plastic bags. If you like it spicier, consider adding red chile pepper flakes. This sausage is also great on pizza. For the Bolognese Pasta: Keep the temperature low when simmering the meat sauce, and make sure to stir every once in a while. Double up the sauce recipe and freeze half for a future dinner. The zest and juice of 1 lemon along with some chopped parsley are great additions to the sour cream mix.

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