This rigatoni bolognese recipe freezes beautifully. You can make the sauce up to two days ahead of time for an easy weeknight meal.
One of the ways I like to show people that I care is by making food for them.
Today I was inspired to make a comforting dish.
In this case it’s for our staff at Loka.
Although movies and televisions portray restaurant life as mornings in farmers markets and evenings chatting with guests it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The kitchen arrives at 1pm and works at least 12 hours straight.
Our servers begin coming in at 3:30pm to catch up with what the kitchen has made and clean the restaurant dining room and guest bathrooms for a 5pm opening.
It’s a glamorous life.
So when Catelli asked us to share a story where pasta reunites us my first thought was Loka.
With a small team it’s a race against time every day to be ready for opening.
But there’s one moment in the day where everyone stops and instead of being coworkers trying to get ready everyone becomes human again.
While pausing to eat there are 5-10 short minutes where people don’t talk about work.
They laugh and joke around while eating. It’s a special but short lived one between the servers and the kitchen.
The majority of the time it’s pasta, which gives everyone enough energy to get through the next 8 hours.
The pasta shape of choice at Loka is penne. So today I wanted to surprise everyone with something different – veal rigatoni bolognese
Table of Contents
Spaghetti Bolognese is Not Italian
Most people are familiar with spaghetti bolognese – which I learned in Bologna is not an Italian dish at all.
It simply doesn’t exist.
In Bologna there is a tagliatelle al ragout which is a fresh pasta with a meat sauce.
Legends has it that after World War II soldiers returned and asked for this dish from Bologna.
But American restaurants used dry pasta so they altered things a bit and spaghetti bolognese was born.
For this reason I feel perfectly comfortable making a modern swap on this traditional recipe.
I’ve swapped out spaghetti for rigatoni. Rigatoni is Sicilian where you see thicker sauces and the rigid lines make for great crevices to lock in the sauce.
Rigatoni Bolognese with Ground Veal
This recipe uses ground veal but you could use any ground meat if you don’t eat veal. A 50/50 mixture of beef and pork is always delicious.
- 1 lb ground veal
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and small diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup 35% cream
- 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 pinch white sugar
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 500g rigatoni (1 package of Catelli®)
- In a large pot over medium heat, add ground veal and cook for 5-6 minutes. Drain using a colander to remove fat. Reserve meat.
- Add canola oil to pot and sweat onions 2 minutes. Add carrot for one minute. Add herbs, garlic, ground fennel and black pepper for 2 more minutes. Deglaze by adding red wine and scraping any bits off the bottom of pot.
- Add cooked meat. cream, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a summer for one hour. Stir every 5-10 minutes so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Cook the box of rigatoni according to directions and toss with sauce.
If you can't find crushed San Marzano tomatoes, simply buy whole and pulse twice in a food processor.
You can make the sauce up to two days ahead of time for an easy weeknight meal. It also freezes beautifully.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 26g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.