But it still counts. So today I ventured into the unknown and made a Bolognese sauce. First I will say this was no more work than my typical pot of marinara sauce, Neapolitan style. In fact it might have been easier, but the taste is decidedly different. And the texture and the look.
I did some searching for the ideal recipe, there are many, all with slight variations, so finding one I could manage was a task. I settled on one from Aglio, Olio and Peperoncino. Her’s was easy to make but I did make a few changes due to my inventory of ingredients.
I added in about 1/3 cup of diced pancetta and used a dry red wine since my only white wine was sweet.
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1 small onion, cut into same size dice as carrot
- 3 celery stalks, cut up into same size dice as carrot and onion and in the same amount
- 1/3 cup diced pancetta
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef and veal total (I used ground pork instead of veal.)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup dry, white wine-I used red Chianti wine.
- 28-oz can whole or crushed tomatoes, I used whole plum tomatoes.
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 300gr (3/4 lb or 1 1/2 cups) tagliatelle. Mine was homemade.
- Salt to taste
- Lots of Parmigiano, grated
First do the chopping of the veggies. Add the oil and butter to a heavy bottomed stock or sauce pot and set to med-high. Add the battuto (veggie mix) to the oil/butter, stirring to coat, and allow to soften, about 5-6 min., do not brown, just soften or wilt.
At the 4 min. mark, I added in the pancetta.
Next add all the meat to the pot.
Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into miniscule pieces as it cooks.
Note- do not brown to the point of searing, just cook long enough for the pink to leave and you are left with tiny brown meat pieces. Add in the cup of milk and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and allow all the milk to evaporate, this takes about 15-20 min.. Next, add in the wine and allow it to evaporate. You only want to see the oil in the pot, not milk or wine.
Add the whole can of tomatoes and using the wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes into chunks.
Stir in the nutmeg and a pinch or so of salt and lower the heat so that the sauce just bubbles occasionally. Don’t boil, but let it simmer for a few hours, three at least, for the best flavor. DO NOT COVER! Stir often.
This smelled wonderful all day long. Taste occasionally and add salt as needed.
As you can see, we made another loaf of rosemary Parmesan focaccia bread. I did make homemade tagliatelle but that was a chore. The recipe I used called for 2 additional egg yolks from the recipe I have been using. It did not work well for me today. I am not really sure why. I do know that I ended up using the cutter on the pasta machine and making more of a Fettuccine type of noodle half-way through the whole process. I have yet to use the semolina I bought to make pasta, that might be next!
This sauce was really different from what I am used to in a sauce. There was not one bit of garlic, and that hurt! I am so used to using garlic in my cooking, maybe that is why today I made some roasted eggplant spread with garlic and hummus with extra garlic. I am not sure this is going to be a favorite dish of mine. That’s ok, I don’t have to like it all. Phil and Jake enjoyed it but of course, this is not something Caleb would enjoy. I am too ashamed to even write about what we made for him. But he did make a sandwich of focaccia and prosciutto so he redeemed himself there.
Life is good, food makes it better. Good food is to be enjoyed.