Bolognese is one of those dishes that you can taste that was made with love. The sauce simmers on the stove for several hours, making the whole kitchen smell like home. This recipe has a way of being both elegant yet comforting. The hearty sauce combined with lush burrata and fresh basil is a match made in heaven.
When I think of the perfect date night, pasta always comes to mind. Cmon, Lady in the Tramp, set the bar high with what to eat on an ideal date night. This recipe would be perfect for Valentine's Day or any date night!
Rigatoni Bolognese with Burrata
- Kitchen Twine
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion roughly chopped
- 4 ounces bacon roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine chianti or merlot is best
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 parmesan rind optional
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 8 ounces burrata
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Firstly, prep the soffritto. Add the roughly chopped carrot, celery, and onion to the food processor and pulse until chopped into fine pieces. Do not puree. You should still be able to see small pieces of carrot, celery, and onion in the mixture. Empty into a bowl and set aside.
- Next, prepare the pestata. Using the same food processor, add the bacon and garlic. Pulse until chopped. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the pestata and cook for about 5 minutes until rendered.
- Add the soffritto mixture into the pot with one teaspoon salt. Cook, occasionally stirring, for about 20 minutes until deeply browned.
- Once browned, push the mixture to the pot's edges, leaving a space in the middle to brown the meat. Add the meat to the center of the pot and let brown for 3 minutes without touching. Then turn the meat over to brown for 3 minutes on the other side. Once browned on both sides, use your spoon to break apart. Stir with the pestata and soffritto to combine everything. Cook for about 10 minutes until thoroughly browned. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Now, it is time to deglaze. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the red wine. Using your spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes until all of the red wine is absorbed into the mixture.
- Tie your herbs using kitchen twine and add to the pot, along with bay leaves and parmesan rind (if using). Add the crushed tomatoes and broth and stir.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid. Let simmer for 2 hours. If the bolognese begins to reduce too quickly, feel free to add a splash more chicken broth.
- After 2 hours, stir in the heavy cream and grated parmesan. Taste and season with pepper and salt as desired.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles until al dente. Reserve ½ a cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Do not rinse the pasta!
- Add the pasta noodles straight to the sauce. Stir to coat all of the noodles in the sauce. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if it needs to loosen up. Cook for about 2 minutes to allow the noodles to soak in some of the sauce.
- Serve into individual pasta bowls and top with burrata and fresh basil. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper for some heat. Enjoy!