Bolognese and Garlic Knots – this is the best meal we’ve had all year!

Okay so I tried a new recipe. I found a bolognese recipe in my “williams sonoma pasta cookbook” that looked really yummy. Have been wanting to try it for quite a while. This one is a winner. It’s really time consuming but so worth it. This one will definitely get made once a month or so. I may tweak a few things now that I’ve tried the original. Adding shallots would be a must for me. Some garlic. I already added sugar to mine. The knots I saw on a show called “cooking for real”. They looked interesting and I was a bit nervous after the croissant incident. To my surprise they turned out fantastic. This will also be something I make often and can tweak each time I make it. There are tons of variations you can try with the knots.

Bolognese Sauce (from Williams Sonoma’s Pasta Cookbook):

2 oz/60 g thick cut pancetta
2 small carrots
1 stalk celery
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound/250 g ground pork
1/2 pound/250 g ground beef chuck
1/2 cup/4 fl oz/125 ml dry red wine such as Barbera
1 cup/6 oz/185 g drained and chopped canned Italian peeled tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups/16 fl oz/500 ml canned low sodium beef broth, plus a little extra, if needed, to keep the sauce moist
1 cup/8 fl oz/250 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Dice the pancetta. Cut stack into 1/4 inch dice and set aside.

Dice the carrots, celery and onion. You want them the same size as the pancetta.

In a large pan over medium heat add the butter. When the butter has melted and the foam begins to subside, add the carrots, celery, onion and pancetta to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are very tender, about 30 minutes. When ready they should be a rich golden brown and smell like caramel. If you think they are browning too quickly, reduce heat slightly and add a little water to slow the process.

Now add the ground pork and ground beef to the same pan and stir well. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring to break up lumps. Cook until meats are browned and juices have evaporated which should take about 20 minutes. Try not to over cook the meats, you don’t want it crisp or dark brown as they will not absorb flavor and creaminess if over cooked.

Add the wine to the pan, scraping bottom to dislodge any browned bits. Cook until wine evaporates which takes about 2- 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, broth, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Heat the mixture until small bubbles begin to form on the surface, then reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. (if the sauce becomes too thick or threatens to scorch add more broth) Partially cover the pan and continue cooking the sauce on the lowest heat setting until it is thick and dark brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer. If you prefer a deeper red color and more tomato flavor, add 1 more tablespoon of paste after the first hour of cooking. As the sauce cooks mash the meat and vegetables with the back of the spoon to break up any remaining larger pieces. This makes the sauce smoother. When ready you can skim off any fat on top and discard. Cover and set aside while you do up some noodles.

The recipe calls for fettuccine but our store did not have them. So I used fresh linguine. Cook in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and pour in a big serving dish. Then turn up heat on sauce and pour over noodles. Toss for about 30 seconds so the sauce covers all the noodles evenly. If you want you can sprinkle with cheese, we used fresh parmesan.

Garlic Knots (from show Cooking for Real):

Pizza dough (made or bought)
Parmesan Cheese
Optional-pepperoni, olives, sauce, peppers, sausage,etc( you can do tons of variations of these)

Olive Oil
Garlic (fresh or minced from a jar)

In a saucepan pour in about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add garlic, I did fresh with a garlic press. Add a little or a lot depending how much you like garlic. I used about 5 pieces. Turn on medium heat for a few minutes then turn down and simmer for about 30- 60 minutes. This is infusing the garlic into the oil so it can be brushed over the knots later.

Roll out your dough into a rectangle.Over half the surface put some ham (very thinly sliced), then fold other half over this end. Your ham is not visible now. Roll out gently. Let sit for 10 minutes or so. Then roll again to make rectangle. Using a pizza cutter cut off any bits that extend past so you have a semi-perfect rectangle. Now cut in half. Then again. Now cut into thirds until you have strips about the width of a croissant. Should make about 12. Now you pick it up and wrap on your finger as if you are to tie a shoelace. So you fold over and pull the end through so it makes a knot. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Fold all of them and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Now brush your garlic infused oil generously over the knots. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes.

Remove and brush again with oil. For an added touch you can also sprinkle grated parmesan over them.

These knots can be done with any combination of filling or no filling at all. They taste like bread sticks. I will be making them often. They are easy, quick and taste delish. Hope you like them as much as we did. Smoochies to all.

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  1. Amy says

    I miss garlic knots. As a NYer, in every pizza shop they sell them instead of breadsticks. (no filling). And since coming to New England, there are no pizza shops that sell them (or decent pizza but that's another story). They are probably one of my all time favorite foods. I'm going to have to try this recipe. nom nom nom

  2. Kim Bee says

    We don't have them here. This show was the first I've heard of them. So was flying a bit blind. But my goodness they are yummy. And you can totally cheat on these. Buy prepackaged dough and you can also buy pizza oil or garlic oil already done. I'll be making these every couple of weeks now. So yumilicious!

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