October 19, 2020

HOMEWORK #27: Secret Sauce

This week on HOMEWORK, I’m sharing my family’s bolognese recipe!!  My grandma taught me how to make it when I was little and it’s always been a staple in our family.  I have been talking about it for years but have never been able to share an actual recipe because my family makes the recipe more by feel, without measuring out ingredients and finally took the time to measure out and count what I was doing so I’ve got an official recipe!!! (I say “official” but please, do your own thing!!)  My kids love to help and the older ones are pretty good sources of labor at this point!!

Here it is:



-1-2 tbsp olive oil (as needed)

-2 large yellow onions- minced 

-6 stalks of celery with leaves- minced

-1 garlic bulb- the whole thing!- minced

-5 lbs ground beef (This is one of those cases when the less lean meat actually tastes better.  80/20 ground chuck is delicious! I’ve made with the 95/5 before and it’s not quite as good.)

-1 bunch of Italian parsley- approximately 3/4 cup- minced

-15 bay leaves
-1 tsp rosemary
-1-2 cups of wine (white or red- I use white/ pinot gritio)

-1 carrot- minced (1-3 carrots will work)
-1.5 cup finely chopped kale (or spinach)
-5 large tomatoes- minced
-1 14.5 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes
-1 small 6 oz. can of tomato paste- 6 oz.
-1/4 cup chopped basil
-Salt to taste ( I use a TON of salt throughout the process.. keep the meat salted as it cooks and add throughout)
-Pepper to taste ( approx 1 tsp pepper)



Mince onions, celery, garlic, carrot, Italian parsley and kale and set all aside. 

Put a massive pot on the stove over medium- high heat and pour in olive oil.  Add the onions and saute.  Add in celery a minute or two minute later. Stir in the ground beef. Add a good amount of salt. Add garlic. Add about 1/3 of the wine. Add in rosemary and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned, stirring often.  (Get to work on chopping tomatoes and anything else you haven’t gotten to yet. while you wait) 

When the meat is browned, take a quick break and make yourself a little bowl of this deliciousness to munch on while you cook. 

Stir in the carrots & kale and continue to stir over medium heat. Add the rest of the wine. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Work it all into until the mixture is consistent. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat and add salt to taste as needed.  Add in chopped basil. Set to simmer with a lid and stir over low heat for 3-4 hours, adding salt and wine to taste.  (NOTE: You CAN eat it right away once you finish actually cooking the food but if you have the time, this baby gets better over hours the longer you cook it.  We usually start it in the late morning for a late lunch or early dinner.)

Serve over freshly cooked al dente pasta (I love it with farfalle or penne) and add parmesan cheese and a little minced Italian parsley to taste.  Don’t eat the bay leaves but as a kid I always loved it when I got one on my plate! I hope you have so much fun making this one and love it as much as we do!!!


To watch the HOMEWORK episode where I give step-by-step directions go here!

To share pics of your finished meals, post on Instagram with #ididmyhomework !

And here’s a quick rundown of sources for lots of the things seen in our HOMEWORK episode:

goldenrod sweater + mom jeans.  The pendants are antique french lobster traps we made into lights. Barstools are overstock.com. Countertops are caesarstone.


our backsplash is “folk bouquet” from my collection with Architectural Ceramics


the kitchen cabinets are from my “Yesteryear” collection with Unique Kitchens and Baths and is available through out new showoom

The fridge is by Big Chill


our cutting boards


Aurora’s mini cutting board


Aurora’s green linen jumper

modern ming cocktail table from my furniture collection with Woodbridge in the background- it comes in two colors


raw edge linen napkins are from our shop


+ Our GENERATIONS CUTLERY REVIVAL COLLECTION knives are coming soon!! We hope to have them available by Thanksgiving!! I’m so excited about this new businesses my dad and I started!!

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