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Risotto Bolognese

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

There’s no denying that this recipe involves a bit of fiddle-faddling, but so soothing is the process, so welcoming and enveloping the savoury smells emanating from stove and oven as it cooks, so ambrosial the taste, so universally rewarding the experience, that the labour involved can be embraced gladly.

There’s no denying that this recipe involves a bit of fiddle-faddling, but so soothing is the process, so welcoming and enveloping the savoury smells emanating from stove and oven as it cooks, so ambrosial the taste, so universally rewarding the experience, that the labour involved can be embraced gladly.

Image of Nigella's Risotto Bolognese
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups
  • 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and halved)
  • 1 stick celery (halved)
  • 1 small clove garlic (peeled)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 75 grams rindless streaky bacon
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 50 grams unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • ½ teaspoon regular olive oil
  • 250 grams minced beef
  • 80 millilitres marsala
  • 1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons full fat milk
  • 2 litres veal stock or use a mixture of beef and chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 grams risotto rice
  • 6 x 15ml tablespoons grated parmesan plus extra to serve
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and halved)
  • 1 stick celery (halved)
  • 1 small clove garlic (peeled)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 6 slices rindless bacon
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • ½ teaspoon regular olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • ⅓ cup marsala
  • 1 x 14 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 quarts veal broth or use a mixture of beef and chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2½ cups risotto rice
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan plus extra to serve
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Put the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon and anchovy into a processor and whiz to a fine mush.
  2. Heat the 50g / 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a deep, heavy ovenproof casserole with a lid. Tip in the contents of the processor and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the meat and let it brown a little, breaking it up in the pan, then add the marsala. Process the tomatoes until smooth, and add to the meat.
  4. Stir the tomato puree into the milk and then add this mixture to the pan, along with 500ml / 2 cups veal stock and the bay leaves.
  5. Bring to the boil on the hob, then clamp on the lid and transfer the casserole to the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Once the meat sauce is out of the oven, fish out the bay leaves. Heat the remaining 1.5 litres veal stock in another saucepan and keep that warm over a very low heat, then put the meat sauce on a low heat next to it.
  7. Stir the rice into the meat sauce, and then add a ladleful of the hot stock. Stir until the rice and sauce become thick again and then add another hot ladleful of stock.
  8. Continue to add the stock as needed, though only a small ladleful at a time, stirring all the time as you go. Check to see if the rice is cooked after about 18 minutes - you may not need all the stock before this happens.
  9. When it's ready, turn off the heat and stir or beat in, with your wooden spoon, the cheese and the extra tablespoon of butter before seasoning to taste and doling out into shallow warmed bowls. Serve with extra Parmesan, if you like.
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Put the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon and anchovy into a processor and whiz to a fine mush.
  2. Heat the 50g / 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a deep, heavy ovenproof casserole with a lid. Tip in the contents of the processor and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the meat and let it brown a little, breaking it up in the pan, then add the marsala. Process the tomatoes until smooth, and add to the meat.
  4. Stir the tomato puree into the milk and then add this mixture to the pan, along with 500ml / 2 cups veal broth and the bay leaves.
  5. Bring to the boil on the hob, then clamp on the lid and transfer the casserole to the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Once the meat sauce is out of the oven, fish out the bay leaves. Heat the remaining 1.5 litres veal broth in another saucepan and keep that warm over a very low heat, then put the meat sauce on a low heat next to it.
  7. Stir the rice into the meat sauce, and then add a ladleful of the hot stock. Stir until the rice and sauce become thick again and then add another hot ladleful of stock.
  8. Continue to add the stock as needed, though only a small ladleful at a time, stirring all the time as you go. Check to see if the rice is cooked after about 18 minutes - you may not need all the stock before this happens.
  9. When it's ready, turn off the heat and stir or beat in, with your wooden spoon, the cheese and the extra tablespoon of butter before seasoning to taste and doling out into shallow warmed bowls. Serve with extra Parmesan, if you like.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
The meat sauce can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Transfer to non-metallic bowl to cool then cover and refrigerate as soon as possible. Return to the casserole and reheat gently, stirring occasionally, until piping hot, then add the rice and continue as directed in recipe.

FREEZE NOTE:
The cooled meat sauce can be frozen in airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge and reheat as above.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
The meat sauce can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Transfer to non-metallic bowl to cool then cover and refrigerate as soon as possible. Return to the casserole and reheat gently, stirring occasionally, until piping hot, then add the rice and continue as directed in recipe.

FREEZE NOTE:
The cooled meat sauce can be frozen in airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge and reheat as above.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • I took a shortcut and baked this rice, so the final product wasn't entirely 'risotto', but that certainly didn't compromise the taste. Absolutely delicious!

    Posted by ursula.marie on 18th July 2019
  • I love this dish, and more importantly, so do my family. Always make extra sauce to freeze for an easy midweek dinner. Will be cooking it this weekend.

    Posted by Mum123 on 31st January 2018
  • Really not convinced... but strangely compelled to give it a try.

    Posted by gorgonzola on 20th October 2017
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