Bolognese Sauce

  • ½ stick butter
  • about 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves if using fresh)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 carrots, shredded (1/4 cup)
  • 1 lb ground beef or sausage
  • beef broth or red wine (at least ½ cup, may need more)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (for chunkier sauce, use diced instead)
  • 1 regular can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 whole bay leaf (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk (optional but gives a nice richness)
  • 16 oz your choice cooked pasta (slightly al dente to allow absorption of sauce)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Sauté garlic, onion, and carrots in butter and oil until very soft. Make a well in the center and add meat, gradually blending with the vegetables as it browns. Stir in about ½ cup broth/wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze; add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours (can also place contents in slow cooker after you deglaze the pan; add other ingredients, cooking for 2-4 hours on high or 4-8 hours on low). Add more broth or wine if sauce begins to look dry. Remove bay leaf, stir in cream and heat thoroughly before serving. Spoon over cooked pasta and top with grated Parmesan.

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