Last Updated on 3rd August 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
If you have some leftover Bolognese sauce, you may not be sure what to do with it. I want to share with you a few recipes and ideas that will help you take that leftover sauce and make good use of it. When you put time into making really good food, you should get the most out of it.
What Is Bolognese Sauce?
The traditional Italian Bolognese sauce is usually made by slow cooking ground meat, tomato, milk, and sofrito. It’s a sauce that originates from Italy’s Bologna region, and the meat in the sauce is usually pork or beef.
The sofrito is typically a combination of celery, carrots, and onions, and then when it mixes with milk and tomato, it takes on a creamy texture.
How to Make Bolognese Sauce
You could buy this sauce in the grocery, or you could learn to make it yourself at home. You may want to try homemade Bolognese sauce to give yourself a challenge, to learn how to make something new, or just to have some control over the ingredients.
You want to begin by creating a sofrito that is a mixture of celery, carrots, and minced onions, all combined with pancetta and butter. Sofrito is an Italian seasoning made from chopped ingredients that’s cooked in oil and butter.
Once you have your sofrito made, you can add in ground beef, ground pork, or ground smoked sausage. Then, that can be seasoned with pepper, cinnamon, or ground clove, or you can leave these seasonings off entirely.
The next part is a little trickier, and you want to add in your tomatoes and milk and allow the sauce to simmer for about 2 hours, cooking it on low heat. You can cover it either completely or partially, but you want to watch to make sure the water level doesn’t get too low. Add more water as necessary as it cooks.
What Is Bolognese Sauce Made of?
There are a few key ingredients that make this sauce what it is. The tomatoes give it the distinctive red look, while milk is used to make the sauce creamier. Meat is an important part as well, and either beef, pork, or smoked sausage can be used, and then the sauce would sometimes be poured over an additional meat, like chicken.
While the sauce can be made without meat, that’s not usually the traditional method.
Typically, there’s some veggies in there as well, to help give it flavor and texture, and this combination of all these different ingredients makes for a fairly complex sauce. That’s why it’s used in very specific ways and people often need help in figuring out what to do with the leftover sauce. Let’s talk about that next.
What to Do with Leftover Bolognese Sauce
Bolognese sauce is a delightfully meaty sauce that is rich in flavor, and it is perfect for topping your spaghetti noodles with. You will end up with a very flavorful, well-textured dish that may just become your new favorite way to have spaghetti.
I would definitely suggest trying it on your tacos, as it makes a great substitute for ground beef and taco sauce. The tomatoes and meat can become the main attraction in your tacos, but be careful about how soupy this sauce is, as it may pour out of the tacos easily. You may prefer it in burritos instead, because of how messy it can get. Then, just add in some shredded cheese, lettuce, and then tomatoes as well, if you like. It also pairs well with black beans and sour cream for a delightful taco filling.
In fact, Bolognese sauce can be used on all sorts of Latino foods, like Mexican pizza, enchiladas, quesadillas, and more. Anywhere you would use tomato sauce, taco sauce, or ground beef, you can use Bolognese sauce instead. It’s definitely a richer, fattier sauce, but that also means it’s packed with more flavor. I would use it sparingly, if you’re concerned about your health, but it’s definitely a lovely way to change up some classic dishes and give them a different flavor and texture.
Another great way to use this sauce is to make stuffed peppers. You just carve out large bell peppers, cut off the caps, and fill it with your meat sauce. Add in veggies as you like or serve it up with just the Bolognese sauce. This makes for a great side dish and is extra interesting when you add in a bit of hot sauce or pepper sauce to spice things up.
Chili con carne or meat chili is an excellent use of Bolognese sauce as well. Simply add some Bolognese sauce to chili beans and then a dash of chili powder to season and you have yourself a great dish. For some variation, you can top with shredded cheese or sour cream (or both!). For best results, cook up the chili beans with the Bolognese sauce.
The flavor of both will permeate the entire dish and make a more unified meal. This is excellent when served with potato chips or fries as a comfort meal. Don’t expect to lose weight eating it, though.
You can make a sloppy Joe sandwich as well, using this sauce as your sloppy Joe sauce and putting it onto hoagie buns. Add a little shredded cheese or parmesan, and you have a great sandwich. Conversely, you could make the sauce into meatballs for your sandwich. It’s a little more work, but you’re already partway there to what you need for the meatballs.
Try adding it to just about any pasta dishes, including mac and cheese. If you want to spice up a weekday meal that your kids will love, why not pour the sauce into their mac and cheese then take a traditional dish that’s kind of boring for adults and make it appealing to everybody?
There are a few uses for your leftover Bolognese sauces, and hopefully, these may give you some ideas for even more ways you can use your sauce. There’s no need to let it go to waste when there’s so many great uses for this flavorful, meaty sauce.