Slowly, that is.
If you follow me on Instagram (thank you!) you know I sort of took an abrupt break yet have been getting back in the game lately, which feels great. I love this space so much and the chance to be creative in the kitchen is most definitely a place my heart needs to be. Sometimes change happens faster than words and until the right words can be said we are going to focus on words for this four hour bolognese sauce because, my goodness. It’s a topic worthy of discussion.
Yep. I said four hours. Because good things take time.
Don’t let it intimidate you though, it’s not an active four hours. You basically get everything in the pot…minimal, fresh ingredients. And then just let it hang and do it’s thing for a chunk of the day. The only requirement is you babysit it a little bit by giving it a stir here and there. Which I did between laundry, pool time, and basketball try outs. Easy enough.
The end result is a slow cooked, deep flavored, hearty pasta sauce that is simply tossed with some fresh or dried pasta, any shape you fancy. Don’t forget the parmesan and fresh parsley on top, it’s just the finish your bowl needs.
FOUR HOUR BOLOGNESE
Recipe adapted from Marcella Hanzan
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
½ cup chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped celery
⅔ cup chopped carrot
1 lbs pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef, I used all beef)
salt & pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine, I used a mix of white and red
1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, broken up by hand, with their juice
1 lbs pasta, whatever kind you prefer
parmesan and parsley, for topping
Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well and let them soften.
Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork or wooden spoon, stir well. Cook until the beef has lost its red color.
Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. This will take a little time. Add a tiny grating — about 1/8 teaspoon — of nutmeg, and stir.
Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well.
When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the smallest of simmers, with just a little bubble breaking the sauce here and there. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time.
While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it may possibly begin to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. (I never needed to do this). At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley on top.