Country Sampler Special Edition

The Sloppy Bol—a Bolognese Grilled Cheese with Provolone, Mozzarella and Basil

Serves 1


This Italian-style grilled cheese is one dish that MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social can’t get enough of. Cook up a batch of her special Bolognese sauce—or use your own—to create this cheesy, saucy sandwich.

INGREDIENT­S For Bolognese Sauce 2 tablespoon­s olive oil ½ cup finely diced carrots 1 small onion, finely diced ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes ¼ teaspoon oregano 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin 1 pound grass-fed ground beef 1 (26-ounce) box or can chopped tomatoes 2 tablespoon­s tomato paste 2 tablespoon­s ketchup 3 tablespoon­s butter ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIO­NS For Bolognese Sauce

1. Begin sauce by heating olive oil over medium heat in a heavy Dutch oven; add in carrots, onions, red pepper flakes, oregano and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions and carrots are soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two, being careful not to let it crisp up or brown.

2. Add ground beef to the mixture in the Dutch oven and stir. Cook until the meat is browned and cooked all the way through.

3. Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until the tomatoes are roughly blended. Add to the Dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high. Add tomato paste and ketchup, and season to taste. If sauce is too sour, add a pinch of sugar. Place the lid on the pot, turn the heat to low and cook for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 hours.

4. After the sauce has reduced and thickened, add the butter and Parmesan cheese and stir. Season to taste. If the sauce is still too sour, a splash of heavy cream will help.

5. Use sauce as is, or reserve a cup and place in the refrigerat­or. After 24 hours, it will be thick and have the consistenc­y of a sloppy joe, which is perfect for this grilled cheese recipe!

For Sandwich

1. Once the Bolognese sauce has set for at least 24 hours, you’re ready to make your sandwich.

2. Add one slice of provolone and one slice of mozzarella to a piece of bread. Top it with the Bolognese sauce—being careful not to spoon on too much. If it’s overstuffe­d, it will ooze out.

3. Add basil leaves on top of the sauce and layer on the remaining slices of mozzarella and provolone.

4. Top with the other piece of bread. Butter the outside of the sandwich and sprinkle it with grated Parmesan and garlic salt.

5. Heat a cast-iron skillet or panini press to medium and add the grilled cheese. After a few minutes, the cheese will have melted, the Bolognese will be hot, and the Parmesan-sprinkled outside will result in a crispy, nutty cheese crust.

6. When the sandwich is perfectly toasted, take it off the grill, let it rest for a minute, and then cut it in half and enjoy!

For Sandwich 2 slices thick-cut grain bread 2 slices mozzarella 2 slices provolone 2½ tablespoon­s Bolognese sauce (See recipe at left or use your favorite.) A few basil leaves 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon garlic salt 2 pats salted butter


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