Last night Brian, LMK and I had fresh pasta with bolognese sauce. It was really, really delicious. LMK said it was “cherry pie good.”
Previously, while looking for recipes, I had been daunted by the proportion of meat to tomatoes in bolgnese sauces, which is to say a lot of meat, hardly any tomatoes. I got over my fears and went for it. The simple ingredient list also meant that I could use things we already had.
Now, let’s talk about fresh pasta. I know you think that it’s way too hard to make pasta yourself. I had thought the same thing and only recently took the plunge. It turns out, fresh pasta is pretty easy and the results are amazing. I roll mine by hand, and it takes a while. You have to be patient and a little strong, but stick with it because it is going to be sooo good.
Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Fettuccine
for the bolognese sauce (adapted from Italian Slow and Savory by Joyce Goldstein)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 large carrot diced
1 celery stalk diced
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef, pork or lamb
1/2 can tomato paste diluted in 1/2 cup water
1 cup dry red wine (white would be fine too)
fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano
In a large skillet or saucier, melt the butter and add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until soft. Add the meats, breaking up with a spoon, and cook until the meat seems cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the diluted tomato paste, and half the wine, stir and cover over low heat for at least one and a half hours. Stir occasionally and check the moisture level, adding wine as necessary. A few minutes before serving, add the fresh herbs and stir.
for the pasta (adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food)
2 cups high quality unbleached white flour (you can use some durum semolina if you like, but it is much harder to roll out. If you are a first timer, use good all-purpose flour)
2 egg yolks
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl lightly mix the eggs and yolks together. Pour the eggs into the flour well and mix until well combined. You want the mixture to be fairly dry, but also hold together. If you need to, add a drizzle or two of cold water until the dough is cohesive. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Flatten into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for at least an hour.
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
Break off 1/3 of the disc, knead for a minute, and start rolling on a lightly floured surface. This is going to take a while, maybe 7 minutes. The thinner the dough, the tastier the noodles, so try and stick with it. Once you have achieved your desired thickness, cut the noodles about a quarter inch wide, scoop up and place on a plate. Repeat until all the dough is rolled and cut.
Gently place the noodles in the rapidly boiling salted water and cook for 4-6 minutes. Check the noodles frequently as you do not want to overcook them. Dump into a colander, add a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking, and plate. Add a smallish amount of sauce, a dash of freshly grated parmesan and enjoy.
best! dinner! ever!
I just made that one today. Once I had those pesky imperial units sorted out, it worked out quite nicely. 🙂
Thanks for sharing this.