This Swap Will Make Your Bolognese More Decadent Than Ever

Oh, pasta, how we love you. In addition to the dizzying array of both fresh and dried pastas to choose from — think tagliatelle and ziti, tortellini and orzo — there are also dozens of sauces available for your sopping-up-with-bread pleasure. In the mood for herbs? Simply whiz up a fresh pesto. Looking for creamy? Stir together a nice carbonara or alfredo. Craving a classic? Then opt for a simple marinara.

If you're a meat-eater, that will expand your sauce universe all the more. Stir some pancetta or bacon through your tomato sauce, and you've got an amatriciana (via Allrecipes). Or simmer an all-day Sunday gravy, which features sundry meats including sausage and pork ribs (via Bon Appétit). And — of course — there's the classic Bolognese, which typically features ground beef, sometimes includes ground pork, and always adds tomatoes as well as aromatics including onions, celery, and garlic (via The New York Times). We love the deeply warming richness that a well-made Bolognese brings to pasta — but did you know it can be used for more than just noodles?

Stir your Bolognese into some risotto

Though most of us are accustomed to ladling hearty Bolognese sauce over tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta (via BBC Good Food), the meaty sauce actually pairs incredibly well with another common Italian starch: rice. Risotto Bolognese is a common dish that stirs Bolognese sauce through rich, sticky risotto, typically made with stubby short-grain rice such as arborio or carnaroli (via The Guardian). The result is a warming, filling dish that's the perfect accompaniment to some good bread and a glass of red wine.

Making risotto Bolognese is a straightforward, though time-consuming, affair. You'll want to have your Bolognese sauce already made or purchased from a quality purveyor such as Rao's. Then, according to Nigella Lawson, you stir small amounts of rice into the hot Bolognese, adding some warm stock for the rice to absorb, as well. Patience is key here, but 18-20 minutes later, you'll have meaty, tomato-y risotto that — topped with a bit of butter and a sprinkling of parmesan — is the ultimate cold-weather indulgence.