“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren
If you like carbs like I like carbs, you’re going to be hungry by the end of this post. And it’s a little lengthy…so you might need a snack. Or a glass of wine. Or both. I’ll wait a minute….
….All set? Here we go:
FIRST: the dough. Since I was making homemade pasta, I started the pasta before the sauce. Homemade pasta needs time to rest and dry slightly after being formed and before being cooked.
I made my dough in a the food processor. TO BE FAIR: I have seen many chefs do this. AND- the processor even has a “Dough” button, so you kind of have to use it. Your basic pasta dough is flour, eggs, a pinch of salt and a little drizzle of olive oil.
Dough formed into a ball post-processor
Next the dough gets kneaded by hand for about 5 minutes until its stretchy and shiny. Cover with a bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes. Now roll out the dough to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness. Because I did not (yet!!) have a pasta roller, I used a rolling pin and tried to get it as thin as possible. Which took some work. I told myself that having thicker pasta would just add to its charm.
Cutting the dough into tagliatelle
I cut the dough into wide strips which makes it, I think, tagliatelle. Tagliatelle of random, inconsistent lengths, but tagliatelle nonetheless. I separated the pieces and left them to dry on the counter while I made the sauce. Other than the difficulty of rolling, this was pretty simple.
Drying tagliatelle. Charmingly rustic. Right?
NOW: hitting the sauce.
I used the basics of two different Italian recipes to make my Bolognese sauce. First, this recipe from Mario Batali and this recipe as well. By this point you’ve probably noticed that I almost always look at more than one recipe. I like to find the commonalities that make a true Bolognese sauce versus the individual spin a chef may put on a recipe of their own.
In this case you find the common ingredients: bacon, red wine, onion, celery, carrots, ground meat. And the basic steps: saute, sweat, deglaze, simmer. Get it?
Start by sauteing and sweating the veggies:
Cooking the veggies til soft
Next add the meats and brown, then the milk:
Browned meat plus milk
Now you add tomatoes, wine, and cook for as long as you can stand it. I think I lasted a little over an hour, then it just smelled TOO GOOD. You can also consult your sous chef, lingering veeeeerrrrry closely: