Sunday, October 25, 2009

Olignese (Bolognese Olivia Style)

This is my version of ragu di bolognese, a red(ish) sauce originating in the region of Bologna, Italy. Many recipes turn this into a red sauce, using tomato puree, etc., but in authentic recipes very little tomato is used. Traditionally, the sauce is served with "tagliatelle," like fetuccine only wider, or green lasagne noodles. Generally, I eat it with spaghetti or bucatini (hollowed out spaghetti that look like long straws) because your everyday grocery store doesn't always carry tagliatelle. I have heard, though, that if you want to serve it with those nice, flat lasagne noodles, just break the long pieces into thirds and they will almost be like eat unfolded wonton squares. This is certainly one of my favorite recipes, and I hope you enjoy. Buon appetito!


-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4 strips bacon, cut into ½ inch strips
-1 lb lean ground beef
-2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
-2 carrots, finely chopped
-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
-1/2 package white mushrooms, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbs dried basil (if you’d like to use fresh, do about ½ cup basil chiffonade)
-1 tbs dried oregano (if you’d like to use fresh, do about 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano; it’s a much stronger flavor than basil)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 tbs salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 cup red wine
-2 cans tomato paste, with two cans water

In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil and saute the chopped bacon until it begins to brown. Add the ground beef and break it up well—you don’t want any huge chunks in the sauce. When the beef begins to brown a bit, add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir to coat the vegetables and allow the flavor to marry. Add the herbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and stir, then add the wine and stir well. Finally, add the two cans of tomato paste with the water and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. If it is too thick, add a little more water until you achieve the consistency you want.

Generous amounts of parmesan cheese is definitely Cubby-approved.

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