RECIPES: Weeknight Veal and Pork Bolognese Pasta

School has started and we are still getting used to our new schedule-which has my daughter coming home from school much later these days. Weeknight meals need to be wholesome yet easy. I ran across this somewhere and have kept it in my recipe files for a while to make. Bolognese sauces are usually pretty time intensive, but this one turned out rich in flavor yet made under an hour. I did use my own tomato paste for this recipe, which I am sure helped deepen the flavor. The link to that recipe is here-and fair warning-THAT recipe takes a long time! But once done, you freeze the paste in ice cube trays and you have it all year long! We also are a fan of "Better than Bouillon" Bouillon. The flavor is much richer that typical canned bouillon.

We used this on gluten free pasta, but this is delicious on whatever pasta you want to use-even veggie "noodles" or spaghetti squash "noodles". Give it a whirl next week, and show this Back to School month that you got this!

Weeknight Veal and Pork Bolognese Pasta


1/4 cup of olive oil 
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 
1 medium carrot, finely chopped 
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
1/2 a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes 
1/2 lb. of ground veal 
1/2 lb. of ground pork 
1 tsp. of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste (I use my homemade frozen cubes) 
1/2 cups of hot water and 1/2 a teaspoon of "Better than Beef Bouillon" dissolved into the hot water 
1 can 28 ounces of peeled tomatoes in juice 
10 basil leaves, roughly chopped 
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves torn off and roughly chopped 
1 bay leaf 
1 lb. of penne cooked according to package directions 
1/2 cup reserved pasta water, optional


In a large pot, heat olive oil and add garlic, carrots, celery, onion and chili flakes. Cook and toss until golden brown. Add the meat, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until the meat is browned nicely. 

Next add the tomato paste and cook until everything is brown. Next, add the beef bouillon dissolved in hot water. As you add it, scrape the bottom of the pan to bring up all the nice, juicy brown bits. Raise heat a little higher and bring to a simmer. You're gonna reduce the liquid that's in the pan down by half. Next add the tomatoes. As you do this crush the tomatoes in your hand and make sure to add all the juice from the can as well. 

Next add the basil, thyme and bay leaf. Bring the heat back up to a boil then down to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is nice and thick, about 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile on another burner, boil your pasta according to package directions. Be sure before you drain your pasta to reserve 1/2 a cup of water. You may need that during pasta tossing if your sauce is a little too thick. Simply toss the pasta water in with the sauce as you toss the pasta altogether before serving.

Serve with a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top.



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