Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Bolognese is one of my absolute favorite classic Italian dishes, and I love it in all kinds of variations. My simple bolognese is an old standby, but I like to switch it up – and in this case, Bison makes for a lighter, leaner choice as opposed to beef. Bison generally has less fat and more protein, which makes it a lighter choice for an easy weeknight – and while some bolognese recipes call for long simmer times, this one just takes 25 minutes to cook up to perfection.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to finish
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 28 ounce can whole san marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 3 inch piece parmesan cheese rind
- 2 stems fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound pappardelle pasta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigianno Reggiano cheese, plus more to serve
- Heat a medium dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the ground bison. Cook, breaking apart the meat into very small pieces with a wooden spoon until the meat is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the red onion, carrot and garlic to the pan and stir to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Deglaze with the white wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes or until almost completely reduced. Stir in the hand crushed tomatoes and nestle in the parmesan rind and basil. Season with the remaining salt. Reduce the heat the medium and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with kosher salt. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 2 minutes less than directed, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, add the pasta directly from the pasta water to the sauce. Add the parmesan cheese directly to the bare pasta along with the butter. Toss the pasta with the sauce to coat, thinning as needed with the pasta water to ensure it clings to the pasta. Serve drizzled with more olive oil and sprinkled with more parmesan cheese if desired.