snow day sauce day: bolognese

Well I woke up in the middle of the night and it was snowing and when we all got up this morning there was a fresh coat of powdery snow, so pasta it is. Snow day sauce day it is!

Today I am making a Bolognese sauce. I do make a nod to Marcella Hazan’s famous recipe, but my recipe is very much my own. My sauce pretty much cooks all day. That’s why you make it on a snow day because you’re home.

I start with ground meat. My Bolognese has a pound of ground beef, a pound of veal, a pound of pork. If I can’t get ground veal I will use ground lamb.

The first thing I do is sauté two onions in a little extra virgin olive oil with five or six minced cloves of garlic. I use a sweet onion and a red onion. Once the onion is starting to get that slightly translucent look I add in the ground meat and a pinch of nutmeg and salt. I also add a large grated carrot. I do not add celery. A lot of Bolognese recipes call for celery.

As the meat browns, I keep stirring it to make sure it is consistent in size. When I serve this I want every bit of sauce to be married with a bit of ground meat. Then I add a cup of whole milk. Yes milk. You cook it until the milk solids kind of cook off which is about 20 minutes or so.

Next I add a cup of white wine. I will also use red wine. It’s basically whatever is open and I can get my hands on first. Today the wine was a little sweet it was this Moscato, but it cooks fine just the same.

As the wine is cooking down (again you want 20 to 30 minutes), I take one of those six or 8 ounce containers of cremini mushrooms and slice them thin. I add them to the meat onion and garlic mixture. I allow everything to cook together for about five minutes.

Next comes the tomatoes. Two 28 ounce cans of tomatoes. I like one can to be crushed, and the other can the whole Roma tomatoes in a purée. I shred the whole tomatoes by hand one by one into the pot and then I’ll incorporate the can of crushed tomatoes. Finally, I add a 6 ounce can of tomato paste.

The next step are the herbs. Oregano and basil, and to make it a little different I add a couple teaspoons of ground Aleppo pepper.

Now my sauce is cooking down on low and I will leave it to simmer for probably a few hours just stirring occasionally. And when I say summer I mean it is the lowest I can have my burner without turning it off.

I will then turn off the sauce and let it sit for a while. And then I will serve it tonight over pasta I could do linguine, but I might do just regular spaghetti.

All you need is a little grated Italian cheese and a green salad. Enjoy!

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