Spaghetti Bolognese

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Spaghetti Bolognese, or spaghetti alla Bolognese, is such a popular Italian classic that consists basically of a meat sauce served on a bed of spaghetti.  The tradition Bolognese recipe consists of beef skirt steak, tomato paste, beef broth, dry red wine, and milk.  Many variations exist, some of which do not limit the recipe only to beef.

My husband absolutely adores eating spaghetti.  We have gone to many fancy Italian restaurants during our honeymoon and recent travels, but he almost always chooses simple spaghetti and meatballs or spaghetti Bolognese over anything else fancier.  For him, it is his comfort food in Western style cuisine with a familiar taste regardless of the chef’s individual interpretation of his/her recipe.  I had to try inventing my own recipe and dressing it up a bit with fresh herbs and spices.  I tried experimenting with Nutriwhip instead of whipping cream and I found that the sweetness from the Nutriwhip didn’t go well with savory taste of Bolognese sauce.

For this recipe, I went against the grain and used ground pork and fresh rosemary and topped it off with freshly grated mozzarella.  It turned out to be delicious and heart-warming.  And simply beautiful.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Grocery list

1 lb dried spaghetti (or other pasta if you desire)
1 lb ground beef, pork, or veal (or a combination if you desire)
1 cup carrots, chopped into bite sized bits
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped into bite sized bits
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (cremini, button, or oyster)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/3 cup whipping cream
Grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Heat a 5-quart Dutch oven or large non-stick skillet over medium heat without cooking oil and cook the ground meat, carrots, onions, and celery until meat is browned and vegetables are soft .  Cooking oil is not necessary.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally (approx 5 minutes).  If necessary, drain off fat.

Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in un-drained crushed tomatoes, the tomato sauce, wine, salt, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water to boiling.  Add spaghetti and make sure the pasta is fully immersed in the boiling water.  For al dente texture, boil pasta for 7 minutes, turn off heat, and let the pasta rest in hot water for another minute.  Drain and wash pasta briefly in cold water.  Drain again, tossing the pasta to ensure that the excess water is shaken off.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt, toss again, and set aside.

Stir the whipping cream into the sauce until heated through.  Arrange pasta onto serving plates and serve sauce over the hot cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.

To make ahead:  Do not cook the pasta.  Prepare the sauce as directed, transferring the sauce to a freezer container before adding the whipping cream.  The sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.  To use, thaw in refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a saucepan and heat through.  Stir in whipping cream and let it heat through.

Spaghetti Bolognese

     

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  2. Cantonese style beef brisket (柱侯蘿蔔炆牛腩)

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