I have tried for years to recreate a great bolognese sauce and have always felt like the recipes I found lacked flavor. What flavor that was I could never figure out...until today. I did a ton of research (I’m a professional, ya know) watching YouTube videos and came across a recipe for Pastitsio, Greek lasagna. When watching multiple videos on the meat sauce portion of the recipe, I noticed a key ingredient that I felt could be my missing piece, cinnamon.
3 tablespoons of your favorite oil (I recommend olive or avocado)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1 28 oz peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound of your favorite pasta (I recommend rigatoni)
Finely dice all of your shallots and mince your garlic. I highly suggest investing in a zesting microplane because it gives you a garlic paste that will melt in the sauce*
In a large sauté pan, heat your oil on medium high heat and add in your shallots, cooking for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add your beef and lamb to the pan. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until the meat is browned completely, breaking up the chunks with the back of wooden spoon (or use a bench scrape as a hack). Drain your pan of the excess fat and add the meat/onions back to the pan. Add in your red wine and let simmer for 5-7 minutes until the wine has cooked down. Add your cinnamon, thyme, oregano, red pepper flake, salt and pepper.
Pour the peeled tomatoes in a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands. Add the tomatoes and sauce in the pan. Stir until everything is combined. Lower your heat to medium low and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large pot, boil 6 cups of water with a huge handful of salt. Add your pasta and cook using package instructions for al dente. Using a slotted spoon, add your al dente pasta directly from the water into the sauce and stir to combine. Add your basil and Parmesan cheese.
*Here is the zesting microplane I use!