Yesterday, there was an article rhapsodizing about Marcella Hazan’s old recipe for bolognese sauce. I was puzzled while reading it because it sounded somewhat mysterious, using a milk addition to absorb, and then white wine, then simmering it for four hours. Yep, you read that right.
So, today is Sunday and what better time to try it out than today when I can start it around noon and let it do its magic all afternoon. After I read the recipe through a couple of times – and then reading lots of comments attached to it, I realized that this is good old meat and tomato sauce – that I’ve hastily put together many a time when I didn’t have the time to make meatballs.
But the instructions of this classic recipe was compelling and so I’m game to try it today. The differences from plain tomato meat sauce are:
a. Starting with a melange of browned onions, then adding chopped celery and carrots. Then, brown some ground beef – not too lean, not too fatty. I chose 85%.
b. After both above are cooked, add them together with some plum tomato sauce. Here’s the tricky part. Marzano tomatoes are supposed to be the true Italian tomatoes to use – and they’re priced double what other “tomato” products are – but I bought two cans since I’m going to double the sauce with single the amount of meat.
c. Let the combined sauce cook and add milk to it – letting the milk cook off in an half an hour. Add some freshly grated nutmeg.
d. Add white wine (I had an opened bottle of Gewurtztraminer wine) and let it cook off in a half an hour.
e. Add two cans of Cento brand of peeled marzano tomatoes and let the sauce barely simmer (a bubble or two once in awhile) for a long time: all afternoon.
f. Cook the pasta (I’m using fettucine) and drain well. Add a nob of butter to the hot, drained noodles and toss well.
g. Serve the pasta, sauce and fresh parmesan cheese grated on the top.