I hate doing the dishes. Like, really really hate it. Not having a dishwasher in our apartment is the pits, especially when you’re working on all kinds of new recipes for a food blog. Which is why I’m a fan of the one-pot meal. If you’re not familiar, it’s exactly how it sounds: One whole meal made in just one pot. And this one-pot bolognese recipe is a new favorite.
Bolognese and I have had quite the history. The concept of ground beef, red sauce, and long pasta never really sounded appealing to me. Why have meat sauce when you can have meatballs instead?
I figured it was simply because I hadn’t made (or tasted) a really good one yet, so I’ve attempted making the perfect bolognese for years. I tried it in the slow-cooker, which didn’t go so well. Tried another slow cooking method again in the dutch oven. Nada. So I figured, why not just keep it simple? What if instead of slow cooking the sauce, I just gave it some time to simmer?
And that’s how this delish one pot bolognese was born.
The controversial debate about bolognese
To add carrots, or to not add carrots? That is the question.
Here’s the deal: I always thought a bolognese needed a classic mirepoix base. A mirepoix is a mix of diced up carrots, onions, and celery. Now I’m not the biggest fan of adding celery into a dish like this, so I just skipped it. Which, of course, I thought would be the most controversial part of my one pot bolognese.
There are numerous people on the Internet that say a bolognese should never have carrots in it, and the use of a mirepoix in a bolognese is an appropriation of the traditional Italian dish.
Yet…Gordon Ramsey does it. And so do many other established chefs and recipe developers. So what’s a girl to do?
I decided to go with my gut. I love adding in extra vegetables where I can in my meals, so adding in some onions and carrots felt fitting for my bolognese.
Before you make this bolognese…
Just treat yourself to a dutch oven. Do it. They are absolutely worth having. I use mine constantly—between my sourdough bread, jambalaya, and now this bolognese, it’s constantly being used. And I have a feeling there will be more one-pot recipes to come!
- Dutch oven (or a large stockpot)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow onion diced small
- 2 carrots chopped small
- 1 lb. ground beef at last 85% lean
- 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 lb. long pasta spaghetti, linguini, or something similar.
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Shredded parmesan cheese optional, for serving
- In a dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat up the olive oil over medium heat (about 30 seconds).
- Throw in the minced garlic, diced onions, and chopped onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the ground beef. Break it up with a wooden spoon and mix with the carrots and onions. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the ground beef has fully browned. Leave the cooked off fat in the pot.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let it come to a simmer.
- Break the long pasta in half with clean hands. Tuck the pasta into the simmering sauce using your wooden spoon, then cover completely.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes. Make sure to keep covering the pot after doing a stir. This will prevent anything from burning at the bottom.
- Top with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh oregano, if desired.
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