Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Family Meal: Pasta Bolognese

My only complaint about the Pasta Bolognese (pg 82-83) is that it took a lot longer to make than I expected. I am not a fast chopper, and 1.5-2 cups each of celery, carrots, and onions took a lifetime.

Ground beef and sausage browns in a heap of butter (like, A LOT of butter). The veg cooks in oil for a bit, until good and soft. The two are mixed together with canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and a pinch of sugar. Then, the pot simmers away for about two hours.
I'm guessing that I've never had an authentic bolognese sauce. I thought it was a heavy red sauce with some meat in it, but this was more meat than sauce. I have no clue how it would stack up against a perfect bolognese, but I do know it was delicious. It would be even better if I could get my hands on a decent Italian sausage. I went to two butchers, and couldn't find any sausage. I had to buy the supermarket brand. Yuck. I know fennel seed is supposed to be in Italian sausage, and it was visibly missing from this generic stuff, so I added some. I think it was a good call.

This sauce took a long time to make, but it was worth it. Charlie ate a whole plate! Meat, vegetables, everything. He didn't spit any of it back out. Scoooore!

Conclusion: Liked it, and it's Charlie Approved. It was very rich. I couldn't finish the portion I served myself. It freezes for six months, so we have plenty to store.


  1. Wow. That's a lot of veggies! Six cups?!

  2. Like Charlie and Ferran Adria, I like my bolognese to be more meat than sauce. And I'm glad that there's so much veggies in yours because I do that too! It's the only way I can sneak more green into my kids' diets, and they love spaghetti so I say, why not?

    Btw, good to hear that the cookie press arrived in one piece. Now we are all waiting with baited breath to see what magic you're going to produce with it! ;-)

  3. Yup, that's how bolognese is supposed to be. I learned that from a chef friend of mine and was equally confused as you before that :) Isn't cooking a cool learning experience. This recipe sounds super yummy!

  4. Nice, I completely skipped the butter, and I thought it still turned out rich and meaty. Is that sacrilege to skip the butter? :)

    I wrote up my experiences here:

    Thanks for sharing yours!