When you are making bolognese sauce, you want to make it as authentic as it gets. So, naturally, since the bolognese sauce is a classic Italian sauce, you want to serve it with Italian pasta. Yes, there are many options. We have linguine, tagliatelle, spaghetti, and many many more. But this time, I opted for the less-known pasta – mafalda!
Read on to find out what is mafalda and how to make mafalda bolognese!
What Is Mafalda Bolognese?
Mafalda is a type of pasta often used in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s long like tagliatelle, but slightly wider and with wavy edges. Mafalda pasta is typically made with durum wheat semolina and water, and it has a firm texture that holds sauces well. For that reason, it was perfect for my bolognese sauce.
As you probably know, typical ingredients for bolognese are onion, carrot, red pepper, ground beef (or a mixture of ground beef and ground pork), tomato sauce, and variety of herbs and spices. I included salt, pepper, sugar, Cayenne pepper, oregano, bay leaf, and thyme.
My favorite side dish for any dish that includes bolognese sauce (including lasagna) is lettuce.
How to Make Mafalda Bolognese?
This is actually one of the simplest meals I make. Probably that’s the reason why I cook it that often.
First, chop the vegetables into small pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they cook. I use a small chopper that makes everything finely chopped and makes things faster.
Now heat up olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and when it’s softened and brownish, include carrots and red pepper. Add a dash of salt and stir occasionally. Add a little bit of water after 5 minutes if the vegetables start to burn. Cook for another 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, season the meat with salt, pepper, Cayenne pepper, dry oregano, and dry thyme. You can play with the spices and herbs. For example, add a pinch of ground nutmeg, garlic powder, or dry shallot.
Add meat to the saucepan. Stir well and let it cook with vegetables for a few minutes.
Now add tomato sauce (I used tomato passata since it has the thickness that I am looking for in any sauce), 1 cup of warm water, bay leaf, and one teaspoon of sugar. You may wonder why I add sugar. Well, tomato sauce can be sour sometimes, and sugar helps neutralize that.
Cook for another 15 minutes.
In the meantime, cook mafalda pasta in salty water according to the instructions on the packaging. Don’t pour oil in the water because it will make it gooey. The same will happen if you cook in a too small amount of water.
If you are not sure how much pasta to cook, I like to measure it by putting it on the plate first and see how much would be enough for one serving. Keep in mind that pasta spreads out while cooking. In grams that would be almost 100 grams, 1.5 ounces, or 1.2 pounds.
Serve warm pasta with warm sauce and grate Parmesan cheese on top if you like it. Enjoy your meal with some leafy greens on the side!
How to Store Mafalda Bolognese?
Bolognese sauce can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. Allow the bolognese sauce to cool down to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Alternatively, it will be good in the freezer for about three months.
When it comes to pasta, the steps are the same. Although, I prefer to cook the exact amount of pasta that I need at the moment. It’s tastier that way.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.1 pounds ground beef (that's 500 grams or 17.6 oz)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cups tomato passata
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper, Cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dry thyme
- 14 oz mafalda pasta (that's 400 grams or 1 pound)
- To make the Bolognese sauce, start by chopping the vegetables into small pieces. The smaller they are, the quicker they'll cook.
- Next, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and cook until they're softened and browned. Then, add the carrots and red pepper, along with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and add some water if the vegetables start to burn. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- In a separate bowl, season the meat with salt, pepper, Cayenne pepper, dry oregano, and dry thyme. You can adjust the spices to your liking by adding a pinch of ground nutmeg, garlic powder, or dry shallot.
- Add the seasoned meat to the saucepan and stir well. Let it cook with the vegetables for a few minutes.
- Now, add the tomato sauce (preferably tomato passata for thickness), 1 cup of warm water, a bay leaf, and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook for another 15 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, cook the mafalda pasta in salty water according to the packaging instructions. Use enough water to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- To serve, put the cooked pasta on a plate and add the warm sauce on top. You can sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over the sauce if desired.