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FRESH RIGATONI WITH BOLOGNESE SAUCE

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There’s something undeniably comforting about a bowl of Fresh Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce. This Italian classic combines the rich and meaty Bolognese sauce with fresh, chewy rigatoni pasta, creating a dish that’s a celebration of flavors. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of preparing this hearty meal that will transport your taste buds straight to Italy. We’ll also provide useful cook notes and explore creative variations to help you tailor this recipe to your liking. And for those with specific dietary preferences, we’ve got keto and low-carb versions too. Let’s dive into the world of Italian cuisine!

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Ingredients 

To craft Fresh Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions 

1. Sauté the Aromatics:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables soften and the onion becomes translucent, typically taking 5-7 minutes.

2. Brown the Meat:

  • Add the ground beef and pork to the skillet. Break the meat into smaller pieces while cooking until it’s browned and no longer pink. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

3. Simmer with Tomatoes:

  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes and red wine, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

4. Add Milk and Season:

  • Stir in the whole milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the sauce over low heat for about 1-2 hours, ensuring it thickens and the flavors meld together beautifully. Stir occasionally.

5. Cook the Fresh Rigatoni:

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fresh rigatoni according to package instructions until al dente, usually 3-5 minutes. Drain.

6. Serve and Garnish:

  • Spoon the Bolognese sauce over the cooked fresh rigatoni. Serve it hot, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Cooking Notes 

  • For the best flavor, let the Bolognese sauce simmer and develop its rich taste for a longer duration. You can even prepare it a day in advance and reheat it before serving.
  • Fresh rigatoni cooks quickly, so keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t overcook. The “al dente” texture is perfect for this dish.

Variations 

  • Enhance the sauce with a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of nutmeg for a unique twist on the classic Bolognese.
  • Customize the pasta by using your favorite shape, such as fettuccine or pappardelle, for a different texture.

Keto Version 

  • To prepare a keto-friendly Fresh Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce, replace the fresh rigatoni with zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles for a low-carb pasta alternative. Ensure the sauce remains sugar-free and use heavy cream instead of whole milk to reduce the carb content. This keto adaptation lets you savor the rich flavors without exceeding your carb limits.

Low-Carb Version 

  • Create a low-carb variation by using almond flour or coconut flour-based low-carb pasta. Sweeten the sauce with a low-carb sweetener and choose unsweetened almond or coconut milk in place of whole milk. This low-carb twist allows you to enjoy the Italian delight of Fresh Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce without compromising your dietary choices.

Fresh Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce is a hearty Italian masterpiece that satisfies your cravings for a comforting, flavorful meal. Whether you opt for the classic recipe or explore keto and low-carb variations, this dish promises a mouthwatering experience. Share it with family and friends, and enjoy the blend of rich Bolognese sauce with tender pasta. Buon appetito!

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