This Bolognese Bake is total comfort food! It’s rich, creamy and decadently delicious!
Wait….really? Is that you Monday? GO AWAY!
Wow this weekend blew by! As usual, I spent most of it in my kitchen…my happy place. I whipped up some old favorites and experimented with some new recipes. Today’s Bolognese Bake is an old favorite, and one I know you guys are going to love.
Way, way back, early on at the BHK, I posted my recipe for Bucatini Bolognese. I have to say, it is one of my most favorite recipes on the blog. My entire family loves it and I have served it for company countless times, and it always gets the double thumbs up.
So for today’s Bolognese Bake, I used that same bolognese sauce recipe. But to make it even more fabulous I added a bechamel sauce, aka, a rich and creamy white sauce that makes everything a bit more decadent and delicious. The recipe below for the bolognese will make more than you’ll need for this bake, but it freezes really well and will be perfect for another night. Take it from me, you’ll thank me later.
Now, the plain bolognese on its own is absolutely killer, but this bolognese bake? It’ll knock your socks off guys! It’s comfort food at its best, and it couldn’t be easier. Just toss the al dente pasta with some of the bolognese and then fold in the bechamel. Then put it in individual skillets or a large baking dish and bake for twenty minutes or until heated through. I sprinkle a bit of freshly shredded parm on top along with a few fresh basil leaves, serve it with a small side salad and some crusty bread and it’s comfort food that we enjoy all year long!
Hope you all enjoy it as much as we do! Have a great week!
- Bolognese Sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups onions finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup carrots finely chopped
- 2 cups celery finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 ounces pancetta finely chopped
- 1 pound meatloaf mix beef/pork/veal
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- Bechamel Sauce:
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 lb. cavatappi
- 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
- basil leaves for garnish
- Bolognese Sauce: Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes until vegetables begin to brown. Increase the heat to high and add the pancetta. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the meatloaf mix and the ground pork and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink, breaking up meat with a fork. Add the milk and cook, stirring often until most of the milk is cooked down, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and white wine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and mix until incorporated. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Bechamel Sauce: In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour, stirring often until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in milk, stirring until thickened. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and smooth, about 8-10 minutes. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook the pasta in salted water, al dente according to package directions. Drain. Add 4 cups of the bolognese sauce to the drained pasta. Toss to coat. Fold in all the bechamel sauce.
- Add the pasta to a 9x13 baking dish or individual skillets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and bubbling. Sprinkle with parmesan and garnish with basil leaves.