Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm Out of the Corporate World, Finally Cooking Bolognese

Here I sit, finally, doing what I love... cooking. For those of you who have pestered me about keeping up with my blog, well, I'm going to start. I've left the corporate world and am now cooking full time. Something I've wanted for a long time. So, I will start with a classic pasta dish, Bolognese. This is a wonderful, Italian recipe that is served best with linguini or as a meat sauce for lasagna. It warms my husbands belly and with a wonderful glass of red wine, will warm yours as well. Enjoy!

Classic Bolognese Lasagna
Makes 3 cups, enough for 1 pd of pasta
1 pkg fettuccine, cooked to package instructions
3 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs minced onion
2 tbs minced carrot
2 tbs minced celery
12 oz meatloaf mix or 4 oz each ground beef chuck, ground veal and ground pork
Kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes packed in juice, chopped fine, juice reserved
NOTE: Don’t drain the pasta of its cooking liquid too much when using this sauce; a little water left clinging to the noodles will help distribute the very thick sauce evenly to the noodles, as will adding an extra 2 tablespoons of butter along with the sauce. Top each serving with a little grated Parmesan and pass extra grated cheese at the table. If doubling this recipe, increase the simmering times for the milk and the wine to 30 minutes each and the simmering time once the tomatoes are added to 4 hours.
1. Heat butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add ground meat and ½ teaspoon salt; crumble meat, with the edge of a wooden spoon to break apart into tiny pieces. Cook, continuing to crumble meat, just until it loses its raw color but has not yet browned, about 3 minutes.
2. Add milk and bring to simmer; continue to simmer until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, 10 to 15 minutes. Add wine and bring to simmer; continue to simmer until wine evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low so that the sauce continues to simmer just barely, with an occasional bubble or two at the surface, until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 hours. Adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste and serve over pasta.

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