opah bolognese pasta
Print Pin

Opah Bolognese

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Author Justin McChesney-Wachs


  • pasta or gnocchi
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced celery stalk
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 1 lb ground Opah abductor muscle
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, celery, carrot and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent and soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and add a drizzle more olive oil and the ground Opah. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and break up any large pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until the fish is just cooked through and is no longer red, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and bay leaf and reduce heat to medium. Cook down until the wine is mostly evaporated.
  • Add the milk and cook down until it is mostly evaporated. Stir in the ground nutmeg.
  • Add tomato paste and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Add the crushed tomatoes.
  • When it comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to very low and cook uncovered until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is thick, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir every once in a while.
  • Taste for seasoning, and add more salt & pepper as needed, then set aside or refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  • Before serving, add the sauce to a 12” skillet and warm through. Swirl in 3 tablespoons butter, then add the al dente cooked pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine and cook for about 3 more minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little reserved pasta water. 
  • Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.