I have been making this Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce every holiday season, for many years now. I like to make this before or after Christmas and keep it stocked in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner. This deliciously rich and meaty pasta keeps me going throughout the busy holiday season. All the baking and cooking burns a lot of calories! (Or, at least I’d like to thinks so…). This dish is definitely an indulgence, which is why I only make it for special occasions.
I like to use rigatoni for this recipe because this type of pasta soaks up a lot of sauce, so you can really pile on the bolognese! Packed with five types of meat, this recipe is dedicated to the carnivore lover. Cooking the sweet Italian sausage in the rendered pancetta fat is simply divine, and is the heavenly base for this sauce. Resist the urge to snack on all the crispy bits while cooking this recipe! The sweetness from the balsamic, sausage, nutmeg and fennel helps to balance out the salty meats. I really love adding balsamic vinegar to this dish, because the acidity adds another level of richness to the sauce.
I also like to the opportunity to use homemade ingredients when I make this recipe. Earlier this year I canned tomatoes for the first time. I love to use them in sauces and they taste so much better than store bought ones. Fresh tomatoes are really the key to a tasty, light sauce. I also started to make my own stock in my slow cooker after reading a lot about the health benefits of bone broth. Making your own stock is so easy and I freeze them in 250 ml freezer containers for easy use.
When I need to refuel over the holidays, I rely on this protein packed pasta dish. This Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce is sinfully delicious and is packed full of salty meats balanced with a bit of sweetness. Another rich indulgence for the holiday season!