When Erik goes out of town there is one thing I do immediately after the door has clicked shut…
Ha! Just kidding, nothing that daring. Actually, I do probably the least sexy thing ever.
I make spaghetti. Not ordinary spaghetti, though. Technically it is a pasta with bolognese (because I don’t use spaghetti noodles, but that sounds too fancy). I prefer to use rigatoni or penne, because I find the shape does better with a chunky sauce, and boy, do I like my bolognese chunky.
Stand-a-fork-up chunky and just-short-of-sloppy-joe meaty. It needs to be thick, tangy, meaty and salty.
Ah, my comfort food. Someday I will share my throw-together method. It usually takes me 45 minutes to prepare and results in a sauce that makes me happy. But, yesterday, I looked up a recipe by Christopher Kimball in The Cook’s Bible, that took a bit longer. The whole process, start to finish, was closer to two and a half hours, but the hands on time was only about a half hour. The recipe claimed to produce a silky bolognese, by adding milk and cream to balance the tomatoes, and it was not wrong. I wanted mine tangier, so I changed the recipe a bit. I only used beef (because I didn’t have any pork defrosted); added tomato paste and the liquid from the canned tomatoes; and omitted the nutmeg, mace and the cream.
I had some for breakfast lunch (who eats spaghetti for breakfast? surely not me!) and it tasted even better today than it did last night – even cold, straight from the refrigerator (obviously, not at eight in the morning with a cup of tea).
2 strips of bacon
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced (actually, I just scrubbed mine because I am lazy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp (LESS TO TASTE) of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of sugar
2/3 cup of milk
1 29 oz can of whole tomatoes, chopped but with juices
1/4 cup of heavy cream (optional – I didn’t add it)
salt and pepper to taste
Okay, so brown the bacon over medium to medium-high heat. Once the fat is rendered, remove from pan and set aside for separate use. Dump all but 1 tbsp of grease (I actually didn’t need to dump the pan), add olive oil and butter. Next, add onions and carrots, cook for 8-10 minutes, until softened, but not browned (turn down heat if necessary). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Turn down the heat to med-low and add the ground beef and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once starting to brown, but still pink, add the wine and salt. Continue to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, sugar and milk. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the can of chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer (mine was on level 2 of my stove, more than low but far away from medium). Continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for salt and pepper and stir in the cream.Read More 2 Comments »