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Risotto alla Bolognese

December 2, 2008

In my family, risotto is the ultimate comfort food. Rather than looking to fried chicken or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (although the pint is a relatively close second), we go for a big bowl of homemade risotto. The other night (and by the other night, this was really several weeks ago when this originally should have been posted), my mom and I were both craving risotto–me because risotto always sounds good, and her because it had been a bad day. Ragu alla bolognese is another comforting food, so we decided to combine the two. We made a quick version of ragu (below) and the risotto. Mixing them together created a hearty, warm-you-up-from-the-inside-out-on-a-rainy-day, delicious risotto. Risotto is so creamy and smooth on its own, but adding the sauce provided more depth, texture, and flavor to the arborio. With the weather turning cooler and the days getting shorter, the risotto alla bolognese (as I like to call it) is the perfect end to any type of day.

Ragu (quick version)


1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1/2 lb. ground beef (or turkey, if you prefer)

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 large can of stewed tomatoes or tomato puree


Pour olive oil in large cooking pot. Add chopped onion and cook over medium-low heat until tender. Add carrot and celery and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. (Note: You can also add a chopped clove of garlic, but it’s not necessary.)

Add ground meat and stir into ingredients, breaking it apart as it cooks. When lightly browned, add salt and pepper. (Note: You can also add a cup of red wine–a cabernet or burgundy is best–if you have the time and desire; just make sure it is completely absorbed before adding the tomatoes.)

Add tomatoes and stir well into other ingredients. Turn heat down to low/simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Chef’s note: The nice thing about this abbreviated version of Ragu alla Bolognese is that you can cook it quickly to add to your risotto or you can keep it on longer to soak up more of the flavors before adding it to your risotto.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 6, 2015 10:57 pm

    That’s cleared my thoughts. Thanks for cotbuinrting.

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