Saturday, January 17, 2009

Linguine alla Bolognese

Another classic from my Williams Sanoma Italian Essentials cookbook, this is one of my favorite meals to make on a chilly Sunday. The sauce requires a lot of simmering time and its so warm and comforting, perfect for the negative temperatures we've been having!

I've adapted the recipe slightly from WS according to what I had on hand (their recipe uses tagliatelle instead of linguine), but for the most part, follow it pretty closely.


4 - 6 servings

olive oil
2 small carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 oz bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup red wine
14 oz. diced tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg

grated parmesan for serving

- Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the carrots, onion, celery and bacon and season with pepper. WS calls for them to heat for 30 minutes to get a golden color (but not brown too much). I don't think I've ever done for more than 20 minutes.

- Add the ground beef and break up the meat until its lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

- Pour in the wine to deglaze and let cook down, about 2 minutes.

- Add the tomatoes, stock, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once it starts to simmer, turn the heat down very low. Let this cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

- While that is simmering, cook and drain your pasta (reserve some of the water).

- Add the drained pasta to the pan with the sauce and coat evenly, add pasta water if necessary.

- Serve with the grated cheese on top.