- Fearless Homemaker - http://www.fearlesshomemaker.com -

spicy sausage bolognese

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.