The Ultimate Comfort Spaghetti Bolognese

Eataly just moved into my neighborhood with a lot of fanfare, huge lines, and ridiculous prices.  I'm not complaining because it's a good addition to Broadway, which - above 23th Street - definitely needs sprucing up.  Good on Mario Batali for doing it again, but - call me crazy - I try never to wait in line for anything where I am going to be ripped off.  I will wait in line at the new Trader Joe, down the block, however, because I feel that coming out of grocery store in Manhattan with 2 full bags of groceries for $35 is a very satisfying feeling, like you're sticking it to the Man.  So, clearly, I am not going to be lining up for 90 minutes to sample the pasta dishes at the Eataly pasta restaurant.  But I do shop at their excellent Italian wine shop, then go home and make my own delicious spaghetti.

I love this recipe because it has some Moroccan influences in the flavors.  I added ingredients such as olives, carrots, raisins, and a range of spices to create a meat sauce that is a little out of the ordinary and completely yummy  As it cooks,  it will also spread a fantastic aroma through the halls of your apartment. Your neighbors will be filled with food envy - just like you felt wandering through Eataly, feeling so hungry but not wanting to spend $19 for a small plate of ravioli!

The Ultimate Comfort Spaghetti  Meat Sauce with Sausage 

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 organic carrot, sliced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 smoked andouille sausages
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup mixed pitted olives, chopped
  • handful raisins 
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  •  salt & pepper to taste
Cook the ground beef all the way through and drain off all of the cooking juices - you don't want it in your sauce.  Put it in a separate saucepan and  add the tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes, and begin to heat.  Meanwhile, saute the onions and mushrooms in the olive oil until soft.  Add the sliced carrot and garlic and brown.  Put that into the tomato mix along with the olives, raisins, and sun dried tomatoes.  At this point, if the sausages are pre-cooked, slice them and also add to the tomato and meat mixture.  If they are not pre-cooked, cook them separately from the sauce and then add.  Combine all of the spices and add to the sauce also. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about an hour.  This will reduce the sauce somewhat and all the favors will develop.  I like to make sure there is a good amount of liquid because Olivia likes her pasta very sauce-y.  When I serve her bowl, I add a spoonful at the bottom before I pile on the spaghetti. Then I top it with a heaping portion of meat sauce & Parmesan. The little slices of toasted baguette soak up whatever is extra.

And I always serve a simple salad with my favorite home-made balsamic dressing.

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
Sophia Loren


  1. we are always up for spaghetti in our house - this version looks YUM!

  2. You have always made THE BEST spaghetti! From one who knows... magnificat <3

  3. have been looking for a new twist to the same old same old version I always make - the cinnamon flavor sounds intriguing....

  4. what is the favorite salad dressing recipe?

  5. Good stuff here! I like hearing your perspective on things.