Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pappardelle Bolognese

Whenever my ex-boyfriend was in a funk (which quite honestly was very rarely), few things could force a smile on his face until he rode out the storm.  His mother (mum, as he called her in their English tradition), however, seemed to know the one thing that could perk him up, as mother's tend to do, without fail.  The instant she said the word, "spagbol" (spaghetti bolognese), his entire demeanor would literally change, and the clouds would part.

Though I would never attempt to match his mum's delicious recipe, I learned very quickly that I needed to at least develop my own version.  Until meeting his family, I had never been a huge fan of meat sauce.  I have since realized it might be because it is rarely done properly.  But "spagbol" for my ex and his family was no laughing matter, and they soon taught me just how scrumptious and warming it can be.  I hope you enjoy my personal adaptation of this hearty, classic dish!  This recipe is in honor of mum, a remarkable woman who introduced me to more than merely the value of a great spagbol.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups celery, finely chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, freshly minced
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 5 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, saute the onions, celery, and garlic in olive oil until translucent and just beginning to brown (10 minutes).

Increase the heat, and add the pancetta, veal, and pork.  Brown for a another 10 minutes.

While the meat is browning, break it up into small pieces.  Many people use a fork to do this, but I highly recommend using a potato masher.  If you don't have one, get one.  I rarely use it on potatoes, but it makes mashing things so much simpler.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, milk, and thyme...  Again, use the potato masher to break up the tomatoes and work into the sauce.

Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, occasionally stirring.  The sauce will reduce significantly, creating a robust, delicious bolognese sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste...

Spoon onto the pappardelle, sprinkle with asiago cheese, and serve!

1 comment:

The Designer Mummy said...

Wow, Brad I HAVE to try that out! Although my favorite is my Mums, but I am sure yours is amazing! :) This post made me smile! :)

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