Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bolognese sauce

I found and tried this Oregon times recipe (slightly modified) a good while ago. Whenever I've eaten this in restaurants I had no clue that there were carrots and celery in it...I thought it was the most unlikely combination in pasta sauce but really its not. Carrots and celery get cooked to oblivion and its absolutely delicious and just perfect on a cold winter day with a heaping bowl of pasta.

Bolognese Sauce -
4 tbs olive oil

1 large onion

2 carrots, finely chopped or shredded

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

3 lbs ground chicken

6 spicy chicken sausages (chopped)

2 tbs tomato paste

1 cup good red wine

3 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes with their liquid (I used San Marzano)

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 bay leaves


1 half pint of heavy cream or half and half

1/4 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg

Heat olive oil in pan. Gently saute the carrots, onions and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the ground meat one at a time, crumbling with your hands and not allowing to ball up into large pieces, brown until most of the moisture is evaporated. Add sausages. Add tomato paste. Heat meat and vegetables with paste. Add red wine, stir throughly, and simmer until most of the wine is absorbed or evaporated. Next add tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Stir completely and reduce heat to simmer once bubbling. Stir about every 15-20 minutes, scraping the bottom with a flat spatula to prevent burning. Transfer to a slow cooker and simmer for 2-3 hours; If you plan on freezing, remove what you won't use and let cool before bagging in quart freezer bags, without the dairy and nutmeg. About five minutes prior to serving, or when you add the pasta to the boiling water, you can start to add some cream or half and half along with a few pinches of fresh nutmeg to taste. Always add the nutmeg a few minutes prior to serving. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over pasta if you wish.

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