Tuesday, July 13, 2010
With summer in full swing, we've been doing a lot of grilling and we're certainly getting our fill of the summer's best fruits and veggies. But last week as I planned our menu, I suddenly thought of pappardelle bolognese. Not exactly a mid-July dinner - more something we'd have after a day on the slopes, but when I mentioned it to my husband, his eyes lit up too. So it was decided. Sunday's dinner would be pappardelle bolognese.
A flip through a few cookbooks or an online search will reveal as many variations for bolognese as there are Italian grandmothers. And my recipe below is yet another variation. It's based mainly on the recipe that appears in Molto Italiano, but I changed up a few things. Some call for white wine, some for red. Some use beef, others veal. Some have milk, some don't. The variations are endless. We agreed that this one was just right - mostly meat, just enough tomato and perfect with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano grated over the top.
This makes a good sized batch - I froze some for future use. Or make it for a crowd - this would serve 6 to 8 people with a side salad and some bread. We like it on pappardelle, but any pasta would work. Had I been a bit more adventurous, I would've made homemade. My version calls for red wine. I used a Zenato Valpolicello and then we had the same wine with the meal. It paired wonderfully.
adapted from Molto Italiano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
4 ounces pancetta, put thru a meat grinder or ground in a food processor
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup red wine, preferably Italian
1 cup milk
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to finish
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrots and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Don't brown the vegetables.
Add the meat and increase the heat to high. Cook until the meat is browned.
Add the milk, wine, tomato paste, and thyme and stir to combine. Bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over pasta and finish with fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.