Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bolognese Sauce

When I dove into Twitter last spring, I realized immediately that the social network is a goldmine for foodies. One of the sites that I became enamored with was Bakerella (Queen of the cake pops!), a treasure trove of creative recipes and incredible photography (some people call this food porn). The first night I discovered her site, I spent hours scrolling through the photographs wishing I had the foodie genius to come up with recipes like she does. A few blog posts detailed Bakerella's visit to the Pioneer Woman, and I was all at once introduced to another culinary maven, a woman named Ree who lives in the country and clearly has a zest for life. While Bakerella (real name unknown) focuses primarly on sweet treats, the Pioneer Woman posts a lot of recipes for hearty cooking. Which made her site the perfect match for me tonight, because I was specifically looking for a top-notch bolegnese sauce recipe. Not a meat sauce, not a marinara with ground beef. Bolognese.

One side note: I served my pasta bolognese alongside a vegetable from my CSA I had never laid eyes on before. Turns out it was romanesca cauliflower. It looked unlike any cauliflower I've eaten before (actually quite beautiful in its own way), but tastied very similar to the grocery-variety. Unfortunately, that meant my kids still didn't want to eat it. Maybe next time!

Bolognese Sauce
From The Pioneer Woman

1-1/2 cups grated carrots
1 large red onion, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 T oregano flakes
2 T dried basil flakes
1 6-oz can tomato paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 cups red wine
2 T Worcestershire
2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes
1 cup milk
Fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots and onions and cooke for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture, then add in the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes until brown, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture. Throw in oregano and basil. Use fresh if you have it; fine if you don't.

When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. Add Worcestershire and stir. Add canned tomatoes.

Finally, pour in milk, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes-2 hours. However long you need. Serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

I don't have a photo of my final sauce, because all I wanted to do was eat it! But trust me, the step-by-step photos on Pioneer Woman are drool-inducing.

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