Bolognese Sauce with Crispy Prosciutto

Bolognese sauce with crispy prosciutto.

Long-simmer meat sauce creates a sauce with deep flavors, enhanced by the addition of crispy prosciutto.




  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add two slices of the prosciutto. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, to get the prosciutto crispy and slightly browned. Remove the crisped prosciutto, setting aside on a plate to cool. When the prosciutto has cooled, break it into bite sized pieces to serve over the finished pasta later. Slice up the extra, uncooked half slice of prosciutto.
  2. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, still on medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
  3. Stir in the celery, carrots and red pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in the 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat along with the pieces of the extra 1/2 slice of uncrisped prosciutto. Add a bit of salt to taste. Raise the heat to medium high, and stir occasionally, browning the meat.
  5. After about 10 minutes of cooking the meat, stir in the wine. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the wine is mostly absorbed.
  6. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Raise heat to bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer on medium low. Add the rosemary, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar and fennel powder.
  7. Simmer the sauce uncovered for at least an hour. I simmered mine for 90 minutes with good results.
  8. Start water to boil for the pasta when the sauce is close to ready. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  9. Reserve a quarter cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta when ready. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with the reserved water. Stir to get the pasta well combined with the sauce.
  10. Serve the pasta topped with a bit of the prosciutto and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, along with an Italian red wine.
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