Risotto Bolognese, staples

Spag Bol.

For those of you not familiar, it’s a British term referring to Spaghetti Bolognese.

For the Americans, Spaghetti Bolognese is what you all know as Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Neither Spag Bol, Spaghetti Bolognese nor Spaghetti with Meat Sauce bear any resemblance at all to anything actually served in Italy.

First, Ragù Bolognese, is a long-cooking, slow-simmered meat sauce. It has tomatoes, yes, but it’s not a thick, tomato sauce.

Second, as a meat sauce, it’s served with more substantial pasta types like tagliatelle.

It’s also used in lasagne and in risotto.

Usually, when I make Risotto Bolognese I used leftover Ragù.

So, this should be Risotto in the Style of Bolognese – but that was too long….

Risotto Bolognese

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) beef stock
  • 1/2 leek, chopped
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti:
  • 3oz (90gr) ground beef
  • 3oz (90gr) dry-cured ham, such as Prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 leek, chopped
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Risotto Bolognese


  • Heat beef stock and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add the 1/2 leek and sauté until tender.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When rice has almost absorbed all the wine add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it a few tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
  • Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff.
  • Condimenti:
  • Sauté remaining 1/2 leek, carrot and celery in olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add beef, breaking it up as it browns.
  • Add ham and sauté a few minutes longer.
  • Add tomatoes, herbs and heat to simmering. Reduce heat and simmer slowly until needed.

Print Recipe

The spam emails have been getting out of control again. Periodically, I actually open them, find the ‘unsubscribe’ link and get my name (temporarily) taken off the list.

In the process, sometimes I get sucked into reading whatever is considered of interest that day.

The headline read: “8 Staple Foods to Avoid at the Grocery Store”.

I was (slightly) intrigued.

Had someone found something wrong with milk? Butter? Yogurt?

Actually, no.

The staples being referred to were:

    • Frozen waffles.  This is a staple? I thought frozen waffles were a twice-a-year treat for kids.
    • Non-dairy milks. Who knows what goes into them to make them taste like actual milk
    • Trail mix.  Again, this is a staple? 
    • Salad dressing. Now, olive oil and vinegar would be staples, but bottled salad dressing?
    • Canned soups. I’m not even going to talk about this one.
    • Coffee creamer. I thought this was only a staple in offices – to make the horrid coffee taste better.
    • Table salt. Apparently the problem with this is that it’s too refined and one should use sea salt. I use sea salt.
    • Margarine. Yuck! I’ve eaten my share of canned soup as a child, but margarine? I’m from Wisconsin!

    None of my staples made the list.

    On my list of weekly staples are

      • Milk
      • Butter
      • Yogurt
      • Eggs
      • Bread
      • Coffee
      • Fresh orange juice
      • 2 or 3 types of seasonal fruit – 2 dozen total
      • Fresh vegetables for every day
      • Potatoes for mon mari

      Oh…. And wine and dog treats.

      Monthly, I would add rices, grains, pastas, (dark chocolate for me)

      What’s on your list of staples?

      7 thoughts on “Risotto Bolognese, staples”

      1. Skip the yogurt and orange juice (we like pieces of orange) and add meat and that’s pretty much it. There is one canned soup my hero occasionally likes. I have made Bologense sauce with the milk and hours of simmering. I never thought to use leftover sauce in risotto but I will be try this for sure, Thanks Katy.

      2. Your list of staples is basically mine, too, except we eat tangerines rather than drink OJ and we don’t use much milk. We do always have half-and-half for our coffee.

      3. Karen, we eat a lot of fruit, but like the juice for breakfast – old habits from Spain where orange juice was fresh squeezed in every bar and coffee shop.

        Zoomie, we use it in coffee and both have cereal for breakfast – with milk rather than yogurt, We have yogurt for lunch. Non-dairy creamer – can’t happen.

        Kate, yeah, I forgot the chocolate…. but that’s only a staple for me 😉

      4. Since my husband has been trying to see if eliminating (or at least reducing) the gluten in his diet might help his never ending digestive and other health issues, I often go to gluten free pasta. I don’t know why I never considered making meat sauce (which I call bolognese even though I’m American) with risotto. We live risotto. This is perfect!

      5. Rachel, my hubs is a T1 diabetic, so, while he needs carbs, I have to watch the ratio of carbs to protein carefully – so all of my risottos (which we also love) tend to be, um, heartier than the traditional ones – more meat and veg.

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