Hearty Healthy Make-Ahead Bolognese Meat Sauce

With a full-time job, family, and crazy busy life, I like to find recipes that can be frozen and stretched into many meals. This classic Bolognese sauce is one such find. It is quite time-consuming and requires attention, so set aside a day at home to make it. But then you can freeze family meal size portions and individual lunch size portions to use at later dates for quick meals.

I am still partial to my mom’s meat sauce (which I make in the slowcooker), but this meat sauce is very different in flavor from Mom’s sauce, so it was a nice change. The wine really comes through in flavor! This is excellent served over pasta with a salad. Because it makes so much sauce, and freezes and reheats well, this is a great dish to make ahead for a dinner party, or to keep warm in a crockpot for a potluck.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Easy everyday ingredients.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Put onions, carrots, celery, butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 8 to 15 minutes.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Add ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and continue stirring until the meat has lost its red color, about 4 minutes. Add wine.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost completely evaporated, 18 to 25 minutes.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Add milk and nutmeg.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has mostly evaporated, 12 to 18 minutes.

Beef Bolognese Sauce

Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them and their juice to the pot. Once the tomatoes have started bubbling, reduce the heat to low so that the sauce is barely simmering. Cook uncovered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If all the liquid evaporates before the cooking time is up, add water 1/2 cup at a time as needed. After 4 hours, make sure all the liquid has evaporated before you remove the sauce from the heat. Blot or skim any fat from the surface before serving.

Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Weight Watchers Info: 5 PointsPlus per half-cup of sauce. Carbohydrates: 15g per half-cup of sauce. Pasta is extra.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4 small or 2 large carrots, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 28-ounce cans plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Put onions, carrots, celery, butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 8 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and continue stirring until the meat has lost its red color, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost completely evaporated, 18 to 25 minutes. Add milk and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has mostly evaporated, 12 to 18 minutes.
  4. Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them and their juice to the pot. Once the tomatoes have started bubbling, reduce the heat to low so that the sauce is barely simmering. Cook uncovered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If all the liquid evaporates before the cooking time is up, add water ½ cup at a time as needed. After 4 hours, make sure all the liquid has evaporated before you remove the sauce from the heat. Blot or skim any fat from the surface before serving.
Notes
Serving Size: ½ cup of sauce.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thin with a little water when you reheat it, if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup sauce Calories: 390 Fat: 15g Saturated fat: 6g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 15g Sugar: 7g Sodium: 591mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 27g Cholesterol: 83mg

 

Comments

  1. Deborah Griffin says

    Is the calorie count on this correct? A 1/2 cup is 390 calories. Seems a tad high but sounds good!

Leave a Comment, Question, or Suggestion!