Pasta Bolognese…

Aah yes, pasta.  One of the ultimate comfort foods.  Simple, yet filling, it fulfills every culinary dream.  Did I make the pasta fresh? No (aww, moment dulls).  But next time I will.  After all, I did get a pasta maker for Christmas that still needs to be test-run.

Bolognese is a pasta sauce originating from Bologna, Italy (duh).  Authentic recipes only have small amounts of tomato and is mostly meat, although some recipes have been modified to be a mostly tomato sauce.  I made sure this one was very meaty.

It’s simmered for about 3 1/2 hours, so you know it’s gonna be good.  Anything that sits that long allows for the flavors to really come together and build up one great dish.

One of the flavoring agents here is Parmesan cheese rind. Unless you have a specialty cheese store or factory nearby, you won’t find this item.  We buy our Parmesan from Costco in a giant chunk, so I just cut off the end and side of that.

The start of anything good: carrots, onions, and celery.  These simple three ingredients, somewhat inflexible on their own, come together to form the base of every great soup, stew, or sauce.

Now that the rind is in, we shall cover it and let it do it’s thing for the next several hours.  What kind of pasta to use…tagliatelle (the most common pairing)…spaghetti… curly egg noodles…fettucini? How about rigatoni? Seeing as it’s the only pasta in my pantry, I guess I’m going with that.

Ah molto buono!

Pasta Bolognese

2 T olive oil
1 lb ground pork
1 lb turkey italian sausage, taken out of casing
6 slices bacon, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup merlot or other dry red wine
1 cup milk
2 cans (28 oz) whole tomatoes pulsed in a food processor
2 bay leaves
1 Parmesan cheese rind
1 lb pasta, cooked
salt and pepper

In a dutch oven or similar pot, heat 1 T oil over medium high heat.  Cook pork and sausage and season with salt and pepper for about 10-12 minutes.  Remove and drain.  Cook bacon for about 6-8 minutes until crisp.  Remove and drain.

Reduce heat to medium and heat 1 T oil.  Cook onion, carrots, and celery for about 8 minutes until onions are sweating and soft.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add tomato paste and cook another minute.  Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add meat, milk, bay leaves, tomatoes  and cheese rind.  Season with S/P.  Bring to a simmer and cover for 3 1/2 hours.

Discard rind and bay leaves.  toss pasta with sauce and enjoy.

*next up…gau…*

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