spicy sausage bolognese

by Amy on 7 December 2010

as much as i love eating fancy meals at restaurants, after a lot of dining out, i always crave home-cooked food. we had such a wonderful time with my parents in town, as we ate fabulous food (+ consumed a lot of fantastic wine), but i was so ready for a homey, comforting meal the night after they left.

after glancing around the fridge + pantry, i realized that i had everything i needed to make sausage bolognese. i was planning on just winging it, when a fellow food blogger recommended that i check out mario batali’s bolognese recipe. a few significant differences – his calls for veal + pork, while i used spicy italian pork sausage. his calls for white wine, but i substituted red instead. finally, i opted for crushed tomatoes in addition to the tomato paste, as i thought that would lend a nice flavor + texture.

the result? delicious! the onion, carrot + celery mirepoix provides a complex base for the sauce, while the milk + wine richen it up in a big way. initially i planned to serve this with pappardelle, but at the last minute we substituted fresh cheese tortellini, which proved a perfect partner to the bolognese. i hope you all will try this – it’s wonderful!

sausage bolognese

makes about 4 servings, adapted from mario batali


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 spicy italian sausages, casings removed
2 pieces of bacon, finely minced
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3 ounces of tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup red wine
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
fresh parmesan cheese, for grating


in a 6 – 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil + butter over medium heat. add the onions, celery, + garlic + sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent + soft but not browned, about 10 – 15 minutes. add the sausage + bacon, + stir into the vegetables, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. drain out any excess fat.

add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, + wine, simmer over medium-low heat for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. season with salt/pepper to taste, + remove from the heat.

when ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot bolognese, + tossed so that the pasta is evenly coated by the sauce.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bruce barone December 7, 2010 at 10:09 am


2 amy December 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

bruce, you’ve got to try this! it was so amazing – the mirepoix base, wine, + milk (i used whole milk) just added so much depth + richness.

3 Annie Woods December 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Hmm… I have everything but the italian sausage, but I do have just regular old ground beef in the fridge. I might have to go ahead and try it tonight and see what pans out…

4 amy December 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm

you could definitely substitute ground beef – i think it would be really good with that. i would use about a pound if you keep the rest of the amounts in the recipe the same (if you want some leftovers). make sure you drain off most of the fat, especially if you have a less lean type of beef. let me know how it turns out!

5 Jenni McWherter December 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Tried this tonight as posted and it was fantastic. The kids even loved it. Husband says it is worth coming home for lunch tomorrow for the leftovers.

6 amy December 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm

it is so wonderful to hear that everyone, even the kids, liked it! also (+ i swear this is true), i made this last night for dinner + my honey came home for lunch today, too. i think the bolognese is acting as an aphrodisiac for the men! =)

7 Mollie January 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I made this for dinner on Thursday night and it was delicious!! Thanks for the recipe =)

8 amy January 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

you’re welcome! i’m so glad you liked it. =)

9 dom weselny February 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Nice post:D thanks

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