Ever since we had John’s Baked Ziti a few weeks ago, I’ve been jonesing for pasta. I didn’t need anything particularly cheesy, but I really wanted the richness and comfort of some meaty noodles. Meaty. Noodles.
I had always wanted to try to make a ragu/ragout style meat sauce, and started checking around for ideas and recipes involving bolognese. “Authentic” Italian bolognese isn’t a tomatoey marinara spaghetti sauce with meat, like most of us grew up on. It’s really focused on the meat, and has a base of fresh caramelized veggies. The more recipes and pictures I perused, the more clear it became that I had to make pasta with bolognese sauce.
I had two pounds of ground pork from Double R Farms and our pork CSA share, and I thought the richness of the pork would work great for this type of meat sauce. I yanked it from the freezer and gathered my ingredients, and reviewed what I thought was the best recipe of the multitudes. I chose to follow along with the recipe from Food Nouveau, but I made some little changes here and there.
Instead of cooking my veggies in a combination of olive oil and butter, I sweated them in some homemade pastured lard.
I like my sauces a little spicy, so when I was starting the slow-cooking-simmer phase of the process, I added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and it added a very nice, subtle kick to the end product!
I did not add pancetta to the sauce, because: (1) I was using ground pork, and knew there would be fat rendered from the pork; (2) Pancetta is cured but not smoked, so I didn’t think I would be missing any major flavor profile by leaving it out; (3) I was using my lard to cook with so that would be nearly equivalent to the pork fat from the pancetta; and (4) I didn’t have pancetta anyway. 🙂
By the time the scrumptious sauce was done simmering, the whole house smelled savory and amazing, and I couldn’t wait to get it in a bowl and then into my belly. John practically dove into the pot of sauce and I don’t think I’ve seen him have thirds of something in a long time. I’d say that’s a success!
Rather than go into the whole process twice, you’ll find pictures and detailed steps in the printable recipe below. I’ll share some food porn here, though:
Mmmmmmmmmm! I tell you what, we’ve done real well with this one! Go! Try! Do!