Bison Bolognese

Yield serves 4
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 4 ounces Ventrèche, finely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound Ground Bison Meat
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided use
  • 1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes, (28-ounce)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Recipe notes
This rich and satisfying bison bolognese recipe comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner but gives you the comfort of a slow-simmered Sunday sauce.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Heat a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ventrèche; cook until fat has rendered and ventrèche is crisp and golden brown. Remove ventrèche with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. To the rendered fat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent and vegetables are just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  2. Add ground bison to the pot; brown the meat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. When browned, stir in dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Cook about one minute more.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add reserved ventrèche, reserved vegetable mixture, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Stir in cream, parsley, basil, and remaining 1/4 cup wine and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper if desired. When the pasta is cooked, drain (reserving ½ cup of pasta water, if needed) and pour into a large serving bowl. If the sauce is too thick, add pasta water until your desired consistency is achieved. Top pasta with sauce and toss to combine. Grate cheese over the top and serve with additional cheese on the side, and your favorite red wine.