Right before Christmas, my co-worker Karyl gave birth to the cutest little baby boy, Preston Patredis. She and her husband, Jon, said they were craving anything but chicken, so I decided to make them a three-meat (beef, veal, lamb) bolognese sauce over some fresh pappardelle pasta. If I’m going to drive 40 minutes out to Frisco, you know that (1) I must love you guys a whole bunch and (2) I’m going to go all out on the meal. After I ate this bolognese, my taste buds and stomach were satisfied, but then my heart was torn. Let’s just say I quickly realized that a 30-minute spaghetti sauce just won’t cut it in my kitchen anymore, not after enjoying a 3-hour stewed bolognese sauce. This dish is definitely joining the “things to cook on a Sunday afternoon” list.
I used Anne Burrell’s “Pasta Bolognese” recipe (watch the video!) as a guideline and switched/added a few things of my own.
Total time: 4 hours, including prep.
Servings: Too many. Or should I say, not enough.
- 2 small white onions, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 large carrots, diced into 1/2″ pieces
- 3 ribs of celery, cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 pounds of meat (Anne’s recipe calls for beef. I used 1 pound each of ground beef, veal, and lamb)
- 2 cups tomato paste (yes, that’s a lot)
- 3 cups hearty red wine (which leaves slightly less than 1/2 cup for you to drink while you wait)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1.5 tablespoons of dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. Coat the bottom of a dutch oven (or large pot) with oil over medium heat. Add the veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and the veggies become nice and brown. A little brown gunk on the bottom of the pan is good, you want that. Stir as needed for 15 to 20 minutes. Anne says “be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.” Will do, Anne.
Add the beef, veal and lamb and season again with salt. Cook the beef for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.
Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. In Anne’s recipe, she says that as the water evaporates, you’ll need to add more water. I actually didn’t end up adding any more water. Maybe it’s because I used a dutch oven instead of a regular pot? Or maybe I added too much water in the beginning?
Stir and taste frequently. At first, it’ll just taste like wine. That’s okay, because the wine will cook down and all the flavors will blend together. You might need to add some more salt, thyme, or even pepper depending on what flavors develop.
Simmer for 3 1/2 hours and this is what you’ll get.
While the sauce was simmering, I made a fresh batch of super-wide pappardelle pasta with my handy KitchenAid pasta attachment. Flatted the dough out to a setting 5. Instead of running the dough through the angel hair or fettucini attachment, I folded the dough back and forth and used a knife to cut wide ribbon strips.
(Fresh pasta should be consumed on the spot. Instead of cooking the pasta and delivering the meal, I just packaged everything up for Karyl and Jon.)
To assemble the dish, scoop some of the sauce into a smaller saucepan. Boil the fresh pasta for 2-3 minutes, drain, and toss into the smaller saucepan with the sauce. Throw in a handful (or more, or less) of parmigiano cheese, toss, and plate. Top with some parsley and parmigiano cheese.