Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce is a classic Italian pasta dish with a meaty bolognese sauce, here made in the slow cooker with a wine pairing.
Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
Wine Pairing: Pira Dolcetto D’Alba 2014
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
This month, for Wine Pairing Weekend, my blogging friends and I are discussing wines that go with your favorite comfort foods. I decided one of the types of recipes that really spells comfort for me is pasta with bolognese sauce.
The sauce itself comes from Northern Italy from it’s namesake Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region. The grapes from the wine, though also from Northern Italy, come from the northwest in the Piedmont region, closer to Turin. So the reason I selected this wine is not because of the region.
The dolcetto wine is grown from black Italian grapes, and the wine has a tannic character that is also dry, yet fruity and lower in acidity. It is possible the grapes were originally brought from France, which further helped me to decide. My last wine pairing recipe was a French ragout. In essence, the dolcetto is perfect as a pairing with riggies.
This recipe is also a ragu but of the Italian type, so I definitely wanted an Italian wine.
Usually this sauce is served with broad flat pastas such as tagliatelle or fettuccini, but is also occasionally served with round types of pasta such as penne, or in my case, rigatoni.
The other unusual thing about the sauce is that it has more of a French flair. There’s no garlic and seasonings are thyme and bay instead of the usual Italian herbs such as oregano, basil, or fennel. I have seen other chefs use the Italian herbs (as well as garlic) but I have to defer to Marcella Hazan as the authority, and she didn’t use it in hers.
The classic French mirepoix is also used as a flavor building foundation (carrot, celery, onion) along with an Italian thought of added peppers for a gentle spice. The wine serves to round out the flavors as a whole.
And while you might think the flavors will be missing something, you will discover after braising it in the crockpot for a few hours that the aromas are right, and once plated, the flavors are dead-on.
Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
- 1 Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup finely diced carrots
- 8 ounces white mushrooms (chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces ground veal
- 8 ounces bulk Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 42 ounces crushed canned Italian tomatoes
- 1 pound dry rigatoni noodles
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large skillet and saute the onion, pepper, celery, carrots, mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme until vegetables soften, then place in the crock of your slow cooker.
- Add ground meats to the empty pan and season with salt and pepper, cooking until browned and crumbly; add to crock.
- Add red wine to the crock along with the vinegar, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes; stir.
- Cover crock and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until meat is very tender; remove bay leaves.
- Boil rigatoni in salted water according to package directions, then drain.
- Toss cooked pasta with sauce and serve garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.
Wine Pairing Weekend
Please join our group of cheerful and satiated bloggers who love their food and wine pairings!
This months wines paired with comfort foods:
- Cindy of Grape Experiences shared Wine and Comfort Food: Alder Fels Chardonnay and My (New)Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted her Kick Ass Mac’N’ Cheese and Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling
- Lori of Dracaena Wines wrote about Comfort Food with a Side of Wine
- Jill of l’Occasion is Cooking at Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta
- Jade of Tasting Pour contributed her recipe for Croque Madame and Treveri Brut Prestige #winePW
- Nancy and Peter of Pull That Cork tempted us
with Brandade de Morue and a Lovely Lirac
You’ll also want to check out:
- Wendy from A Day in the Life of the Farm made us feel warm and cozy with Mushroom Stroganoff with MarkhamSauvignon Blanc
- David of Cooking Chat explained his Roasted Root Vegetable Soup and Wine Pairing
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog is Finding Comfort in Food and Wine
- Lauren of The Swirling Dervish made us want to visit warmer weather for Winter Comfort Food forThose 80 Degree Days
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is thrilled to
give us her ideas for Valentine’s Day: Share a Special Red Wine PairedWith Comfort Foods with Your Sweetheart
- Sue of Palatable Pastime shared her notes for Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
Join my recipe group on Facebook for more recipes from blogger friends around the world!
This sounds very wonderful, something I’d love to serve to my family. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the elements that build the flavor. I was surprised to read there is no garlic!
Delish! Thank you for this pairing.
Count me as another fan of Marcella Hazan’s! Her Classic Italian Cookbook was one of the first I bought, many years ago, and it has never disappointed. Love that you paired your dish with a Dolcetto – I absolutely love those wines and think they’re so compatible with food. Great #winePW post!
Although I have never made one, I have great appreciation for a good Bolognese. This sounds delicious and easy to do. I may have to give it a try. Your wine choice sounds spot on as well. Nice pairing!
The pasta sounds fantastic. I don’t think I have ever made any type of sauce without garlic. LOL That’s why you have to trust the recipe! Wonderful pairing.
Love this pasta recipe and wine pairing!! I’m feeling all warm and cozy right now:) Thanks Sue!!
I appreciate the twists you made to the classic Bolognese sauce to make it unique. I also love the idea of making it in a crock pot. I did not know that was possible. I MUST give this a try, with a wonderful big Italian red, of course.
Love a good bolognese and this sounds like a perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Looks delicious. I want to eat it slowly with my feet up.