Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The more the merrier...

I have a friend who had a baby a few months ago. She has invited me over to meet her new little bundle of joy tomorrow. I can hardly wait!

I thought it would be nice to bring the new mama something for dinner. So tonight I am making a batch of bolognese sauce for her. It's easy to reheat, full of nourishment and completely comforting.

Once again, I am straying from my original recipe. It feels like I add more veggies each time. The more the merrier, I say!

Well, it turned out great even though I threw in half my refrigerator. There really is no messing it up I guess. My next experiment will be to use ground turkey instead of beef.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots; peeled and chopped fine (food processor is a quick easy way to chop all these vegetables)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper; core and seeds removed, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 lb ground beef (85/15 % fat)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 cup of 1 % milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz can of whole Italian tomatoes in puree, crushed by hand
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat up oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it is crispy. Drain off the grease until there is about one tablespoon left in the pan.

Add the onions, red peppers and carrots and saute for 4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the beef and sausage, cook for about 4 minutes breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

Add milk and continue to stir and break up meat. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until most of the milk is evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, wine, sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, stir to combine. When it all comes back to a boil, turn down heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until sauce is thick and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Make sure to skim off any foam and excess oil that collects on top as it cooks.

Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Remove the bay leaves.

Serve over pasta that is cooked al dente with a side of shredded parmesan.

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