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BOLOGNESE SAUCE – SUGO ALLA BOLOGNESE

Spaghetti Bolognese is one pasta dish that’s achieved tremendous notoriety world-wide, the birth place being Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romana.  The infamous spaghetti and meat sauce dish that has countless takes and versions, each chef and gourmand with their own true and tested rendering.  The preparation is best created in stages, with a robust tomato sauce to start and then the Bolognese.

TOMATO SAUCE

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 TSP of butter

1 28 oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes with their juice and crushed by hand in a bowl removing their center cores

1 medium onion – finely chopped

6-7 garlic cloves – through a garlic press

2 bay leaves

1 cup of fresh chopped basil

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 TSP dried)

1 TBSP sugar

1/8 TSP baking soda

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In a Dutch oven heat up the EVOO and butter and add the onion with butter and sweat for a few minutes with some salt. Add the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and garlic.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Now add the tomatoes, the sugar, baking soda and fresh cracked pepper.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, set aside and remove bay leaves and thyme then add the basil chiffonade.  Taste to adjust for seasonings and allow it to cool before inserting immersion blender.

NOTE

Preferable the sauce is better made a day ahead to allow the flavors in the tomato sauce develop.

BOLOGNESE

½ LB of ground sirloin

½ LB of ground pork

½ LBN of ground veal

Mirepoix of carrots, celery, onion and fennel – finely chopped

2 TBSP of EVOO

¼ cup of whole milk

In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat up the EVOO and add the meats, cook breaking up until browned.  Remove from the pan and drain the fat.  Add a bit more EVOO, add the mirepoix and cook till soft – about 15 minutes. Return the meats to the pan and add the tomato sauce.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the milk and cook an additional 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings.

Boil long pasta till al dente, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water.  Return pasta to the cooking pot, add a few ladleful’s of the Bolognese and incorporate about ¼ cup of the cooking water.  Mix well and serve with lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Mound on deep pasta plates topping with some fried basil leaves.  Add some chopped pistachios on top for some additional crunch if desired.

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