Monday, January 18, 2010

Spaghetti Bolognese

Remember my new toy, the pasta extruder? I'm back to share another shape with you. This time, classic spaghetti. Not the most original choice given all the shapes at my fingertips, but it was the best match for the real star of the show here-- bolognese sauce.


I've wanted to make bolognese for a long time, but the long simmering time makes it an impossibility most days. The opportunity finally came on our trip to Port Townsend over the holidays. Nothing but time and a cozy day at our cabin in the woods to help the sauce along.


As I usually do with new techniques, I chose the Cook's Illustrated recipe, this time from my online subscription to their archives. I chose the all-beef version, and it was divine. While of course the sauce was excellent, it was the combination of the sauce from scratch and the fresh homemade pasta that made this one of my favorite recent meals.

Completely unrelated to spaghetti sauce: there's an entertaining website making the rounds of the blogosphere. It's called, and you can use it to ask me an anonymous question-- about food, about me, about whatever-- ask here and I'll happily answer! Have fun!

Beef Bolognese
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Printable Recipe

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced carrot
2 tablespoons minced celery
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
table salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1. Heat butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, carrot, and celery and sautè until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add ground meat and 1/2 teaspoon salt; crumble meat with edge of 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 simmer; reduce heat to low so that sauce continues to simmer just barely, with an occasional bubble or two at the surface, until liquid has evaporated, about 3 hours. Adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste and serve. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days or frozen for several months. Warm over low heat before serving.)


Lauren said...

Oh yum! My brother makes bolognese all the time, breakfast sausage being his meat of choice, but I might have to point him to this. Maybe he'll try something new ;D. Maybe I can even try making some pasta, although pasta is definitely not the easiest thing for me =D.

Anne said...

Looks great! Their beef bolognese is probably my favorite bolognese recipe. And I bet it's incredible with homemade fresh pasta! :)

The Cooking Ninja said...

I usually make a simple one with olive oil, chopped onions, ground beef, tomatoes and herb of Provence. :)

Melissa said...

I just made linguine and bolognese sauce yesterday, both from scratch! I did the simmer for hours version, and I simmered it in milk first. I couldn't believe how tender it made the meat! And I don't have the cool attachment for my kitchen aid yet, but I did get a hand crank version for Xmas. It's amazing the first time you make pasta...I felt like I had discovered fire or something. So simple yet so neat. :)

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