Honestly, I think there's as many recipes for bolognese as there are for chicken soup. They all may have some very subtle differences in flavor but they do have one thing in common for sure. It's all about the meat.
This particular recipe's from Biba Caggiano's Trattoria Cooking and it calls for veal but that's kind of hard to find in these parts so I exchanged it for ground sirloin although I think ground pork would have worked too. Along with some pancetta, carrot, celery, onion, good canned tomatoes that were relieved of their seeds and a healthy dose of white wine, this sauce takes about an hour to prepare. If you've ever imagined a meat sauce without garlic or anything other than salt and pepper, you've come to the right place because this is it but for all the subtle flavor, it's pretty darn amazing. Biba serves it mixed into risotto and quite honestly I debated using a nice thick pasta like pappardelle but ended up going with the pro and risotto, although it was plated a little differently.
As you know the big guy and I aren't much into subtle flavors and I really wanted to make this dish as Biba intended, but my conscience just wouldn't let me make a plain risotto - and when I say plain that's one without garlic or onion either. After all, recipes are just guidelines anyway right so I added garlic, onion, fresh chopped basil and a touch of heavy cream for added richness. If you don't have fresh basil please don't substitute dried - it has a whole different dynamic. Just give the pot of creamy risotto a shot of freshly grated nutmeg instead.
This dinner in a bowl was was a real winner. What more can I say. You must be really sick of hearing (reading) my descriptive adjectives by now so I won't go there but it's hard to go wrong with a good meat sauce and impossible to hate a bowl of creamy rich perfectly al dente risotto. Rather than mix the bolognese in with the risotto, I used the risotto as the sauce holding vessel and I'm so happy I did. Eating a creamy bite of risotto dipped lightly into the sauce really helped to showcase the dishes as two separate entities that together made a perfect team. Download Bolognese II
Here's a few other dishes you might enjoy.