Pasta Bolognese

Last week I was going to make lasagna, but opened up the freezer and discovered that we were out of bolognese sauce. This kinda messed up the dinner plans for that night, but did give me something to do this afternoon.

We picked up a chuck roast (3.5 pounds or so) and had a 1.25 pound bit of pork belly in the freezer. We got the pork belly to “do something” with, but hadn’t gotten around to actually doing anything with it. I decided to use the pork for the sauce, as much to clear out a little freezer space as anything else.

1.5 onions, 6 – 8 cloves of garlic, 1 large carrot, 2 stalks of celery pureed in the food processor. I browned the mix in olive oil while grinding all the meat.

I used the coarse grinding plate on the grinder to grind up both hunks of meat. After I removed the veggie mix from the pot, I browned the pork first, mostly to render out the fat to cook the beef in. I browned all the meat quite hard: even in our 6 quart Staub pot I ended up cooking the meat in 5 batches. Once all the meat was brown, I pulled out all the meat and drained off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat.

Into the fat, I dropped a can of tomato paste. I let it fry in the fat for 4 or 5 minutes. Then I added 2 cups of red wine to deglaze the pan. I added back the meat and veggies to the pot. Then I added 2 large cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes w/ basil (Muir Glen is our go-to brand). This nearly topped my pot, so I held back on the last cup of wine I wanted to add.

For seasoning, I seasoned with salt through the frying process. After everything was mixed I added a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of dried thyme, a teaspoon of turkish oregano, a good 6 or 7 grinds of black pepper and 2 bay leaves. I left the sauce to simmer uncovered for hours. I used the extra wine to keep it the right consistency.

Because it was such a nice sauce I decided to make pasta to go with it. 1/3 cup of semolina, 2/3 cup of flour and 2 eggs. I kneaded it all up into a ball and let it rest for almost an hour. Then I rolled it out using our Kitchen Aid pasta rollers. I boiled about 2/3 of the finished pasta in lots of salted water and served it with the sauce.

It’s not an overly complicated recipe, although it did take me about an hour to prep the sauce (including frying all the meat and veggies) followed by just letting it cook for 4 or so hours. But I’ll store the massive amount we have left in the freezer and pull it out when I want a meat sauce.  Rough guess is that we have at least 6 meals worth of sauce, and some of those meals will probably involve leftovers . Not bad for an afternoon’s worth of work.

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1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, Food

One response to “Pasta Bolognese

  1. alsohuey

    My pasta sauce takes about that long, and you’re doing more work than I am. And I _totally_ don’t do homemade pasta.

    I’m intrigued by the cumin. I might try that next time. The corner bar puts cinnamon in theirs (which is just wrong) but I can see how the cumin might work.

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