Entertaining guests is something hubby and I love to do year round, but there’s really something special about hosting a holiday. While we don’t host Thanksgiving or Christmas, Christmas Eve is our one night we get to host a special holiday for friends and family. I love to take the approach of a more casual evening, with simple foods and flavors that really warm you up and make you feel cozy.
This year’s menu is so super simple – shrimp cocktail, this creamy bolognese sauce, a few simple side dishes and mini pumpkin pies. It’s all about the company. Well, and a little bit about the music, too.
The mix of beef and sausage brings a little something extra special to the dish, and if you wanted to really shake it up, you could use spicy sausage – watch out! I should note, too, that any ground meat could work, so you can change it up based on what you like. I recently saw a bolognese with lentils, must try that next!
I use a whole lot of garlic in this recipe, but you can adjust as you need to, if you really want. I really love a lot of garlic, and it feels like it helps to develop the flavors so much more.
Creamy Bologense Sauce with Beef and Sausage
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp butter salted
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- 10 cloves garlic minced
- .5 pound sausage casing removed if using links
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 16 oz broth beef is preferably, vegetable or chicken also works
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 parmesan cheese rind optional
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan plus more for garnish
- In a large pot, on medium high heat, heat the olive oil and sautee onions, celery, carrots until soft about 10-15 minutes. At 10 minutes in, add garlic and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until garlic is soft but not burned.
- Add ground beef and sausages, breaking up the meat and frying until no longer pink.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add rosemary and thyme.
- Next, add tomato paste, red wine. Stir to combine and cook until the wine has evaporated by half.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except the heavy cream and parmesan
- Simmer with the bay leaves, cheese ring and sprig of rosemary.
- Allow to simmer for up to 3 hours or a minimum of 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Remove bay leaves, rosemary and cheese rind.
- When you are ready to serve, add in the heavy cream and parmesan. Stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Garnish with parm, if desired, and enjoy over your favorite pasta.