When it comes to meat sauces, ragù Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees.
'pasta sauce' on Serious Eats
This easy-to-make spaghetti sauce is the ultimate in comfort fare with its rich, tart personality and down-home meaty richness.
Spaghetti twirled around in a rich sauce of pistachio butter, olive oil, basil, garlic, and parmesan makes for a super decadent holiday side.
Domenica Marchetti's Bolognese from The Glorious Pasta of Italy has its own curious ingredient, mortadella, which makes perfect sense since mortadella comes from Bologna. Marchetti's ragù is pretty genius, rich and meaty with melting diced carrots, onions, and celery and surprisingly little tomato paste. It makes for the perfect sauce for a Lasagna Bolognese, layered with bechamel, or atop a mound of fresh tagliatelle.
Piment d'Espelette is a kind of delayed reaction chili—it gently hits you a beat after you expect it. It goes perfectly with tomatoes, like in this fresh tomato sauce with penne, mint, and basil.
The richness of the liver thickens this sauce and helps it cling to your strands of pasta. Between bites of pasta, you'll get tender slivers of neckbone meat and slightly chewy bits of gizzard—a really enjoyable contrast of textures with very little effort on your part.