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The ultimate Bolognese...
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:48 am    Post subject: The ultimate Bolognese... Reply with quote

so, my dear friends, one of my last homecooked meals in Holland was pasta with a ragu bolognese, a recipe I saw once on the BBC, by Antonio Carluccio, I tried it, liked it for its pureness and simplicity, but now I'm very curious about your own succes-bolognese-stories.
Reading ' the travellers lunchbox' story of her ragu-compromise made me think of adding more variations to this basic sauce - but also hesistating. Should we mess with a good Bolognese? Or should we just give it another name to give the bolognese-soul peace?!

Here's what mr. Carluccio told me. A very simple, basic, good ragu. No herbs, no spices, no garlic. He did say that using (a little) pork in this ragu ( maybe 1/3 if you want less pork or even just 1/4 does add a lot of flavour. The only cheating I do is, sometimes, add a tiny bit of sugar.
(as always, mesures are not very strict, you can make as much or as little as you like!):


- 25 gr butter
- olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 250 gr minced beef
- 250 gr minced pork
- a good splash of white wine (about 1 glass)
- 1 teaspoon concentrated tomato paste
- 2 cans of pulpa di pomodoro or chopped tomatoes
- pepper and salt to taste

In a large pan melt the butter and olive oil together and sautee the onion. Add the meat in smaller portions and stir well while browning, so that the meat breaks up.
Add the wine, tomatopaste and canned tomatoes, some salt and pepper.
Leave to simmer for as long as possible, taste before serving (add some more salt if needed) and serve over tagliatelle or spagetti.

Parmesan could be added to taste.


Last edited by swan on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm addicted to the bolognese recipe in the Best Recipe Cookbook, which is similar to this but has a bit of finely chopped carrot and celery for sweetness, and which also calls for simmering the meat in milk before the wine.

An awesome variation: venison bolognese (or, as I like to call it, bambi bolognese). One of my friends shoots a deer every year and occasionally hands out some of the meat, and he and I have both made this recipe with his ground venison. It ends up very lean (venison has much less fat than, say, beef), tender, and tasty.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently discovered canned cherry tomatoes and they make the sauces just a tad sweeter, and the visual of the little toms is quite lovely!!
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds good David!! I just found out that canned (and fresh ones for that matter) tomatoes, as wel as some other day-to-day groceries, are very expensive here!!!
Which will not keep me from doing some cooking ofcourse, but it does explain all the eating out here!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

srk wrote:
finely chopped carrot and celery for sweetness, .


Sauteeing carrot and celery with the onion is a standard base for many sauces but especially bolognase.

Regarding canned tomatoes - read the labels. Some Italian canned tomatoes are actually from China.
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know!!! I prefer italian tomatoes. Good thing there's lots of Brittish stuff here is most supermarkets so that makes it easier. It is Australian food week btw in one of the more upscale supermarkets. Timtams and all. Fun!!!

Last edited by swan on Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
no garlic.


Shocked Shocked Shocked

But... but... surely that's a criminal offence in Italy?!!!
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swan,

I was in Hong Kong recently for just a week, but one of the most fascinating things for me to do in my free time (I was at a conference and didn't have a lot of free time) was to go grocery shopping. I couldn't cook, but I still loved to look at the selection in the various grocery stores and markets, as well as the little bun shops. There was also a really beautiful (especially visually beautiful) bakery that I visited in this extremely upscale mall in Shatin. I still have multicolored shopping bags from City Super that I use regularly. I am having fun imagining you food shopping in Hong Kong. I also really enjoyed going for the fancy style of English tea in the afternoon, even though I was shocked to find so many people drinking strong tea with Coffee Mate, a substance I find foul, and would not voluntarily ingest no matter how lactose intolerant I was. For some reason I did not think I would like Hong Kong (and I think the crowding would still be problematic for me, despite the fact that once you are out of the city center there was more green space than I imagined) but I think it would be a fun place for a "foodie" to explore. Are you having fun? Do tell.

Dory
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ExpatSteve



Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Lerné, France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Sauce Bolognese Reply with quote

If you can, grind your own meats, and put them through the grinder twice. Or ask the butcher to do this, it will make a difference in the end product, making it a little finer. Try adding some pancetta to the meat mix before grinding. I always include carrot and celery too, and once the meat no longer looks raw, but before it starts browning, try adding a dry white wine instead of red. Let the wine evaporate, then add a cup or so of whole milk into which you have grated fresh nutmeg, about a quarter or half teaspoon for 3 pounds of meats. When the milk is almost evaporated, add the tomato products and simmer slowly, the longer the better. If it gets too dry, add hot beef stock and continue to simmer. 3-4 hours on a slow simmer makes the best sauce.
Hope you all are enjoying the debut of spring!
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pastina



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Cambs, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd definitely start with finely diced carrot, onion and celery (if it's a slow bolognaise)

If it's a quick one however, I just use garlic and onion as the carrots take too long to cook.

A grating of nutmeg is nice, or a splash of balsamic vinegar if I feel it needs a lift.

I like to add frozen peas too -- they give a nice freshness.

Nom nom
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin wrote:
Quote:
no garlic.


Shocked Shocked Shocked

But... but... surely that's a criminal offence in Italy?!!!
absolutely not, but definitely a crime in Italian-American and perhaps Anglo-Italian cooking when most emigrants to English-speaking countries came from Sicily and the poorest regions of Southern Italy.

* * *
IMHO (shared w many), the best recipes for ragu bolognese published in English are from Lynne Rosetto Kasper in The Splendid Table. Favorite is her country ragu which I've found online only plagiarized (or unattributed) here: http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe92

So funny to think of such a hearty dish here in the summer heat, but in Australia...
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archer61



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: garlic and 'poor sicilians'!

Huge huge stereotype. I am proudly of Sicilian stock; my parents were not poor, nor did they emigrate due to financial hardship.

My mother makes the best pasta sauce - my children are addicted to it and everyone who eats it rates it very highly.

No onion, no garlic.

She fries her meat/meatballs/etc in olive oil then removes them. She then adds good quality tomato paste to the oil and fries it, then adds canned italian tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Meat is added back to the sauce and simmered slowly for a while. She used to add bones but I don't think she does anymore. She generally uses meatballs (made with minced beef, pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley and garlic chives) and stewing beef; occasionally she will add her own home made italian sausages (pepper and fennel) or involtini (meat wrapped around a filling of bacon or prosciutto, breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic chives). She also makes a bolognese in the same way, using minced beef instead of pieces of meat.

She ends up with a very full-bodied, rich, red sauce - due to the amount of tomatoes and the long, slow cooking time which allows the meat to really flavour the sauce without the need for any extra additives.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all due respect to your family, Archer, let's not confuse stereotypes with facts. And Deste is stating a documentable fact.

Note the key word: most.

All you need to do is look at the records from Ellis Island and Castle Garden to confirm. The huge waves of "Italian" immigrants were primarily poor, and primarily from the south, with Sicily and Calabresse contributing more than than their fair share.

Nor is this unusual. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, no matter what ethnic group was involved, it was mostly poor people who came to America. That's not a slur, by any means---my grandparents were numbered among them.

Nor is this unreasonable. Except during times of intense political upheaval (pre-war Germany, pre-Castro Cuba), well-to-do people have little reason to move. They certainly don't emigrate in large numbers.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

History and politics aside archer61's description of his beloved sauce has me salivating beyond belief!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite Bolognese has pork, veal & pancetta for the meats. And a cup or so of milk to soften the acidity a bit.

I've also seen recipes with wine - either white Exclamation or red.
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