The perfect comfort dish is this hearty Gnocchi Bolognese. This recipe’s foundation is a bolognese sauce that is quite rich. Beef, pork, fresh herbs, tomato-forward components, sautéed aromatics, and more are used in its preparation. bolognese richness is slowly simmered and then served with pillowy delicate gnocchi!
It’s officially the coziest time of year for large batches of comfort food! Enjoy! I use my Dutch ovens a lot for both recipe testing and basic cooking for my home, lol! Really, you’re going to get so much amazing goodies in the mail. I’ve had this gnocchi bolognese hanging in my drafts folder since the summer, so I’m excited to finally press publish on it. Whooo!
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The Coziest Gnocchi Bolognese!
Alright, let’s start this recipe with the main attraction…A deviously delicious bolognese sauce. It is really flavorful, filling, rich, and delicious. We’re going to take this Bolognese and pair it with tender, pillowy potato gnocchi. Although it may seem difficult, making this gnocchi bolognese is actually rather simple and requires little effort, yet it still looks restaurant-quality. My preferred cuisine kind!
Back To Basics: What Is Bolognese?
In a nutshell, bolognese is a traditional Bologna meat-based sauce. Beef and/or pork fat, tomato-based components, onion, carrot, and celery soffritto, white wine, broth, milk, cream, cheese, and an abundance of herbs are usually included. Over awhile, everything blends together to create a beautiful, hearty sauce that is typically eaten with pasta. This is comfort food at its best!
Braising produces an unrivaled degree of delectable enchantment as the meat’s connective fibers soften and break down while absorbing the flavors from the pot. Because it must simmer for many hours, homemade bolognese is time-consuming, but the results are well worth the wait. Oh my.
⇢ Bolognese sauce is opulent and extremely rich. It’s unquestionably excellent! 👌🏽
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
- Ground beef and ground pork: To give this bolognese its distinctive, meaty flavor, we use equal amounts of ground beef and ground pig. Both contribute a significant quantity of taste, fat, and heartiness.
- To sauté the soffritto or mirepoix, use olive oil.
- Pancetta: Adds a deliciously increased “porky” taste.
- When constructing a braise or sauce, soffritto—an Italian trinity of onion, celery, and carrot—is a traditional foundation to sauté.
- Garlic: Is there any dish, Italian or another, that doesn’t call for garlic? Garlic cloves can be crushed or pressed into a paste.
- For an enormous, robust, and distinctively tomato-y flavor, tomato paste is a need.
- Use red wine to deglaze the pan. For bolognese, white wine is more conventional, but I like a red wine’s richer flavor here. Any dry red wine would do; however, I usually choose Chianti. If not, deglaze the saucepan with any dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
- Super easy to make and available in the canned foods section are fire-roasted tomatoes. Because they are roasted over an open flame, fire-roasted tomatoes have a unique smokiness that adds just a bit more flavor.
- Spices: We’re utilizing ingredients like as bay leaves, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and chipotle powder. Each one is flawless, and the addition of chipotle powder creates a little spice to create a contrast in taste.
- To increase the sauciness, you’ll need liquid, such as chicken or beef broth. Either beef or chicken broth will result in a more tasty bolognese!
- Parmesan: When adding to sauces and for serving, freshly grated parmesan thickens them.
- Fresh herbs: Using fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary gives bolognese the necessary freshness. A little mixture of poultry herbs, oh well.
- To assemble and finish: potato gnocchi and heavy cream. A tiny bit of cream adds a deeper, richer taste to the sauce; it’s a hidden element.
All of this is required to make a delicious, silky gnocchi bolognese! 🤧
How To Make Gnocchi Bolognese
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven before sautéing the mirepoix. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté for about 6-7 minutes, or until soft and brown.
- Add the flavorings: Next, add the chopped pancetta to the saucepan and simmer for two to three minutes, or until golden. After that, add the garlic and simmer together for an additional one to two minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Season and brown the meat: Make a well in the middle of the saucepan and add the ground pork and beef. Break the meat into pieces with a wooden spoon and swirl it into the mirepoix. Simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, or until well browned. Next, add spices to the meat mixture. Stir the tomato paste into the mixture after adding it to the saucepan.
- Deglaze the saucepan by turning up the heat to medium-high and adding the red wine. Scrape up any pieces as you whisk the wine into the mixture with a wooden tool. Let the mixture simmer for about 4–5 minutes, or until the wine has been fully absorbed into the meat mixture.
- To begin the braise, add the chopped tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, and fresh herb blend to the saucepan and swirl to mix thoroughly.
- Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and place a lid on the saucepan. Stirring occasionally, let the bolognese sauce braise for one and a half to two hours.
Finishing & Assembling Gnocchi Bolognese
- To complete the bolognese sauce, take out the bay leaves and herb stalks from the saucepan. Next, mix in the cream and parmesan cheese until well mixed. After the bolognese sauce is done, turn off the heat and reserve.
- Gnocchi should be cooked by heating a big pot of salted water to a boil and following the instructions on the packet. Once the gnocchi are cooked, drain and save approximately 1/2 cup of the water.
- gnocchi alla bolognese ensemble: Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the gnocchi into the saucepan of bolognese sauce, tossing to coat each one. Using the gnocchi water that was set aside, adjust the pasta’s consistency to your liking.
- Serve this gnocchi bolognese immediately, and if you’d like, sprinkle more freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. Have fun, yeah!
Tips + Tricks, & More For Recipe Success
- Is it okay to substitute bacon for pancetta? Sure, Chop up some bacon finely and heat it till it crisps up, following the same recipe as for the pancetta.
- Can I make my own gnocchi? What, you’re fancy? Of course you can!
- Bolognese sauce in a slow cooker: Let’s cook your bolognese in a slow cooker if you’d like! First, as said in steps 1-4, start by sautéing/browning everything according to the instructions. After deglazing, all you have to do is add everything to your slow cooker, including the ingredients from step 5. To cook for around 6 to 8 hours, turn the heat down to low. When the bolognese is almost done, continue cooking it, prepare the gnocchi, and combine everything in the pot.
- Heavy cream substitute: Whole milk or half and half are good options.
- Gnocchi without gluten: Feel free to substitute your preferred gluten-free gnocchi here!
- Gnocchi cooking tip: Since the gnocchi will be dipped immediately into the warm bolognese sauce, I prefer to undercook them by only one minute. Gummy gnocchi are not what we want; they should be nicely cooked. A nicer texture will result from slightly undercooking it, which is a strategy to make sure that doesn’t happen. The gnocchi, chef’s kiss, will be completed by the remaining heat from the bolognese.
- Bolognese to make ahead: This dish is ideal for preparing ahead of time, folks. As the flavors settle and further combine, the handmade bolognese becomes even better. Follow the directions on the recipe card provided below to prepare the bolognese sauce. After allowing it to cool fully, place it in the refrigerator covered. Just warm up the bolognese on the stove, prepare the gnocchi, and combine everything when it’s done.
- Serving bolognese: Gnocchi are the logical accompaniment for this dish, but feel free to experiment! Serve with your favorite pasta, such as bucatini, pappardelle, or tagliatelle! The only thing I would change is to finely dice the onion, carrot, and celery before serving with traditional spaghetti. Alternately, pulse in a food processor to a finer consistency for a nicer texture to go with noodles.
- Extras on the side: A small slice of garlic bread or crusty baguette.
Why This Gnocchi Bolognese Recipe Works ♡
- restaurant-caliber…Don’t we just adore a homemade meal that is so simple, so effortless, and has that elegant feel of a restaurant? That’s just what these gnocchi bolognese are—the wow factor is perfect!
- Hi there flavorrr.You and your friends will drool for the flavor-filled richness that this dish has to offer. This recipe’s star ingredient is the bolognese sauce, which has an abundance of flavor. It’s an authentic bolognese sauce, folks—no quick cuts, no sauce prepared in a matter of minutes 😏
- Make-ahead masterpiece…It’s one of this recipe’s best features. When you’re ready to combine with the gnocchi, you may prepare the bolognese ahead of time and just reheat it over the fire.
- A flexible bolognese…As I previously indicated, the gnocchi in this dish are delicate and fluffy, making it really delicious. However, bolognese spaghetti goes very well with noodle-like pasta. You could definitely make some of your favorite pasta instead (chewy bucatini is my favorite!). 🍝
More Recipe You Might Like
- Authentic Cajun Gumbo
- Southern Smothered Pork Chops
- Chicken In White Wine
- Indian Spiced Chicken
- Cheesy One Pot Beef
Cozy Gnocchi Bolognese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 8 cloves of garlic minced/pressed, or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 lb lean ground beef I use grass-fed
- 1 lb ground pork
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine such as Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- herb blend I use 3-4 sprigs each fresh rosemary & thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
To finish & assemble gnocchi bolognese:
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 32 ounces potato gnocchi I use shelf-stable
- To sauté the mirepoix, place a large Dutch oven over medium heat with the oil. To uniformly coat the bottom of the pot, gently swirl it once the oil begins to shimmer. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Stirring often, sauté the mirepoix for about 6-7 minutes, or until it turns brown and soft.
- Include the flavorings: Next, add the diced pancetta to the saucepan and simmer for two to three minutes, or until golden, along with the mirepoix. The pancetta will release its fat; toss occasionally to ensure even frying. After that, add the garlic and simmer together for an additional one to two minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Season and brown the meat: Make a well in the middle of the saucepan and add the ground pork and beef. Break the meat into pieces with a wooden spoon and swirl it into the mirepoix. Simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring often, or until well cooked and browned. Next, add salt and pepper to taste, chipotle powder, dried oregano, and smoked paprika to the meat mixture; toss everything well to incorporate. To coat the meat/mirepoix combination, add the tomato paste to the saucepan and stir. Let it simmer for a further one to two minutes to blend.
- Deglaze the saucepan by turning up the heat to medium-high and adding the red wine. Scrape up any particles that have gathered at the bottom of the saucepan as you whisk the wine into the mixture using a wooden tool. Let the mixture simmer for about 4–5 minutes, or until the wine has been fully absorbed into the meat mixture.
- Construct the braise: Stir thoroughly to mix the diced tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, and fresh herb blend in the saucepan.
- Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and place a lid on the saucepan. For one and a half to two hours, let the bolognese sauce simmer and braise, returning to the saucepan periodically to stir.
- Complete the bolognese sauce: Take note that you might need to scrape off any extra fat from the top of the sauce after braising. When necessary, do so using a small liquid measuring cup or a big serving spoon. Take off the bay leaves and stalks of the herbs from the saucepan. Next, mix in the cream and parmesan cheese until well mixed. When the gnocchi are cooking, remove the completed bolognese sauce from the heat and set it aside.
- Gnocchi should be cooked by heating a big pot of salted water to a boil and following the instructions on the packet. Note: Since the gnocchi will be dipped directly into the warm bolognese sauce, I suggest undercooking them by only 1 minute. Once the gnocchi are cooked, drain and save approximately 1/2 cup of the water.
- Gnocchi bolognese: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the parboiled gnocchi straight into the saucepan of bolognese sauce. Gently toss to coat each gnocchi, bringing everything together wonderfully. At this point, tweak the sauce to the perfect consistency. Pour a small amount of the leftover gnocchi water into the saucepan to thin down the sauce until you have the right consistency. Add extra grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce to make it thicker.
- Gnocchi bolognese should be served right away in pasta bowls. If preferred, garnish with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Have fun!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.