Culinary SOS: Cafe Pierre's classic Bolognese

Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I read your articles every week, and I am finally writing to ask for a recipe, because my husband and I are crazy about the Bolognese sauce at Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach. Although this is a French restaurant, its sauce puts most Italian restaurants in the L.A. area to shame. I haven't been able to duplicate this one at home, so I need your help.

Denni Kopelan

Hermosa Beach

Dear Denni: Cafe Pierre was happy to share its take on this thick, rich meat sauce.

Spaghetti Bolognese

1 hour, 40 minutes. Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup (½ stick) butter

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds ground beef

1 carrot, finely diced

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 ribs celery, finely diced

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

About 5 tablespoons (3 ounces) tomato paste

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine

1/4 cup veal stock or beef broth

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound spaghetti, cooked to dente

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the meat and brown, stirring frequently, 10 to 15 minutes, careful not to burn.

2. Using a slotted spoon, strain the meat from the pan, leaving the fat (it will seem like a lot of fat, but the fat will be absorbed into the sauce as it slowly cooks). Add the carrot, onion and celery to the pan, stirring until the vegetables are translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic.

3. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Stir in the white wine and cook until the wine is reduced, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir the meat back into the pan along with the veal stock, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Gently cook over low heat until the flavors are married, 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with the spaghetti and grated Parmigiano to taste.


Calories 779

Protein 46 grams

Carbohydrates 63 grams

Fiber 4 grams

Fat 36 grams

Saturated fat 14 grams

Cholesterol 142 mg

Sugar 5 grams

Sodium 111 mg

NOTE: Adapted from Cafe Pierre. Veal stock can be found at many cooking supply stores and gourmet markets.

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