Pasta with Salumi Bolognese

This recipe makes use of leftover bits of charcuterie to create an incredibly hearty sauce.

Pasta with Salumi Bolognese
Photo: © Abby Hocking
Total Time:
1 hr

At Monteverde restaurant in Chicago, chef and owner Sarah Grueneberg makes this playful and uber-flavorful play on Bolognese sauce using chopped cured meats in the base, along with ground beef, onion, tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano, and red wine. The cured meats are inherently salty and so full of flavor that it is unlikely that you will need to add salt to this sauce. Browning the cured meats along with the ground beef allows the flavors to meld, and encourages the formation of a glaze on the bottom of the pan that will give the sauce even more flavor after it is deglazed with the red wine.

This is a great use for those leftover nubbins of charcuterie after a holiday party, dinner party, or any event. This recipe yields a good amount of sauce; reserve any extra for another use.


  • 4 ounces mixed salumi (such as soppressata or finocchiona), chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

  • 2 ounces country ham or prosciutto ends, cut into small cubes

  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck

  • 1 ounce guanciale or pancetta, cut into small cubes

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed

  • 1 large pinch chile flakes

  • 1/2 cup diced carrots

  • 1/2 cup diced celery

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 2 cups dry red wine

  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes (whole, peeled), crushed by hand

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, plus more for garnish

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 4 tablespoons butter, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 2 pounds dried spaghetti

  • Chopped fresh parsley

  • Fresh ricotta (optional)


  1. Process salumi in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium. Place country ham, salumi, and ground beef in pot; adjust heat so meat sizzles gently. Brown meat thoroughly on all sides, turning it over every so often so its juices rise to surface.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate. Add guanciale, fennel seeds and chile flakes and allow fat to render. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Allow vegetables to cook until fully softened and browned, about 15 minutes.

  3. Stir in tomato paste and let caramelize. Deglaze pot with red wine and boil until wine is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, browned meat, oregano, and chicken stock. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter and red wine vinegar.

  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to almost al dente. Drain pasta and gently toss with sauce and little pasta cooking water, as needed, to loosen sauce. Simmer over moderate heat until combined. Transfer pasta to bowls and garnish with parsley, oregano, a dollop of fresh ricotta (if using), and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Related Articles