Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese
I love pasta! And every kind of pasta sauce there is!!
Bolognese is a thick meat sauce, but this recipe uses less meat then other recipes because I sub it with chopped mushrooms (my kids hate mushrooms but they inhale this sauce-hee, hee, they have no idea, because the texture is the same and I save money on using less meat.) This recipe makes a big batch of red sauce so if you like you can freeze half for a quick fix meal latter on.
Sauce Ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. pancetta slab (non-smoked bacon), diced into small pieces or 4oz. thick slices of bacon, diced.
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, minced
1 celery rib, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carton or 2 small cartons of sliced button mushrooms; chopped into very small pieces (buying the pre-sliced saves you time in not having to slice them before dicing them).
1 1/4 pound extra lean angus beef
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup dry Italian red wine or beef broth
1-6 oz. can tomato paste ('Hunt's' Basil, Garlic & Oregano flavored)
1- 66 oz. 'Ragu' traditional old word style pasta sauce (we don't like big chunks of tomatoes in our sauce so if you want them you can use 'Prego' sauce or your favorite brand instead)
1/2 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar or Agave nectar
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
2 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
2 small packages of spaghetti
2 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (divided) shredded parmesan cheese--1 cup for pasta toss and 1 cup reserved for garnish
  1. In a large dutch oven over  high heat, add about 1 Tablespoons of olive oil and the pancetta, cook until pancetta is brown and crispy turning down the heat is it gets to hot. Set cooked pancetta aside on a paper-toweled lined plate.  In the same dutch oven add little more olive oil and add the onion, carrot, and celery; cook stirring often until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the dutch oven and add the mushrooms, cook until the liquid is rendered from the mushrooms and they are reduced in size. Transfer mushrooms to the vegetable plate.
  2. Add a little more olive oil to the dutch oven and add the beef breaking it up. Leave the meat alone until it is browned on one side (don't let it burn-reduce heat if needed), then flip over the broken pieces, break it up more and cook until other side is browned.  Add the cooked pancetta, vegetables and a generous dash of kosher salt and cracked black pepper back into the browned meat and stir until mixed.
  3. Next add the red wine or beef broth, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, turn up the heat until the liquid starts to simmer, cooking out the alcohol and reducing the liquid by more than half.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then add the 'Ragu' sauce, fresh parsley, balsamic vinegar and sugar and stir until mixed, bring the heat to a simmer (do not boil), add lid if the sauce is sputtering a little. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally-or as long as it takes to cook and prep the pasta. (check it often, don't burn the bottom with high heat, keep the heat low). 
  5. Stir into the sauce the 2 Tablespoons of butter right before serving (glosses and adds richness to the sauce).
Pasta directions:
  1. In a large pot cook the pasta according to the 'al dente' directions on the package, in salted boiling water. Drain; and set on serving platter or large pasta bowl.
  2. Add the butter, olive oil and 1 cup of parmesan to the hot pasta and toss with two forks.
Ready to serve:  Plate the pasta on individual dishes and ladle the thick sauce over the top.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.  Great with garlic bread too!!


1 comment:

  1. Yum! Makes me want to come over for dinner. Even your spaghetti is super fancy! Love it!