Wednesday, January 4, 2012

National Spaghetti Day - Pasta Bolognese Made Easy

Today is National Spaghetti Day. Now we here in The Supreme Plate are lovers of carbs especially when they come in the form of great pastas drenched in sauces that truly need no help from the starch other than to help sop it all up. If you know how to make a good sauce from scratch, your already a few steps ahead in the game of life.

Bolognese is a meaty sauce that has a tremendous amount of Earthy flavors that once cooked down is a meal all unto itself. Add a quality piece of bread or some pasta and your set to go. You can change the falvors around however you like by adding more of one meat and less of another just make sure that you don’t get too lean of a cut, you want a little fat to help break down the proteins and give the dish that much more flavor.

The recipe for the pasta is a simple pasta recipe that can be applied to numerous dishes and cooks up rather quickly so make sure you don’t overcook your pasta.

(click read more for the entire recipe)
1 TBS olive oil
4 oz Turkey bacon or pancetta, diced
¾ cup chopped yellow onion
¾ cup chopped red onion
¾  cup diced carrots
¾  cup diced celery
2 TBS minced garlic
1 tsp Kosher salt
½  tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb ground beef or ground veal
1 lb turkey sausage (preferably a spicy blend if possible)
2 TBS tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth
2 tsp sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
2 TBS unsalted butter
3 TBS chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lb spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, beef broth, and sugar and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil.
Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain in a colander.
Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat.
Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend.
Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the cheese passed tableside. (Alternatively, toss only the desired portion of pasta with a bit of the sauce at a time in a serving bowl, reserving the remainder for another meal.)

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