Red wine is a staple for many Italian dishes, such as Bolognese. It not only adds flavor to the sauce but also helps balance out the acidity from tomatoes.
However, if you’re counting carbs or looking to cut back on alcohol, wine may not be your best option. Instead, try using beef broth and adding herbs like oregano or parsley. Other options include white wine, vegetable broth, dry red wine, and more!
If alcohol is completely out of the question, check out the video below for some great ideas.
What Is Traditional Bolognese?
Traditional Bolognese is a classic Italian dish prepared from beef, onions, garlic, and a whole bunch of spices. The meat is braised in wine and spices before being simmered for hours on end.
A lot of this traditional recipe also uses red wine, but that’s not always the case. You can easily substitute beef broth for the red wine to make it healthier for your family or enjoyable for you as well.
Substitutes for Red Wine in Bolognese
One of the easiest substitutions for red wine in Bolognese is beef broth. Many recipes that call for red wine could easily be made with beef broth instead.
The difference between red and white wines is mainly due to their acidity and sweetness as well as a slight variation in flavor.
For example, you may want to use a full-bodied white wine such as Zinfandel or Pinot Grigio while reds like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are more suited for lighter dishes like soup.
Here’s an easy recipe to make your own beef broth:
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (try button or cremini) 2 pounds ground beef 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt
Saute onions in olive oil for about 3 minutes with the heat on medium high until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms to the pot along with water, seasoning with salt if needed before adding ground beef.
Bring back up to a simmer then reduce heat so it just simmers gently, stirring occasionally. Add butter and stir into the pot until melted into the sauce, then add beef stock gradually
Beef Broth as a Replacement for Red Wine
If you’re looking to cut back on red wines, beef broth may be the perfect option for you. Broth is a concentrated liquid that is made from meat or poultry. It’s used in many of the world’s recipes such as soups, stews, and curries.
The health benefits of beef broth include reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. A study from 2011 found that people who changed from using red wine to using beef broth had a significant decrease in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels as well as improving their blood pressure.
Other Options for Flavors
You may be thinking, “Where did that come from? Why use broth instead of wine?” It’s a common misconception.
Many people think of broth as something you should only use if you’re having a party or want to make a large pot of soup.
However, many important Italian foods like dolci (desserts) or paella use it as the base for their sauces and soups.
As you can see, broth is incredibly versatile.
If you’re out of red wine, or cant consume it, there are some great options. From making your substitute with cranberry juice and balsamic vinegar to using a broth alternative. We hope this has got you back on the rails to a delicious bolognese and smiles with family and friends.