30-40 minutes, 6 people
By Doreen Colondres
I recently visited the spectacular Bologna in Emilia Romagna, to learn about their traditions and flavors. I got something very clear and it is that no recipe can be called Italian Bolognese. It was born in Bologna but their traditional version is not known around the world.
The bolognese is cooked differently in every city and in every kitchen but the typical recipe is well protected in the region with just very few variations. The secret is the bay leaf; the locals use it fresh, but don't worry, the dry works well. Some people add a splash of milk after the wine to make it juicier and out of Bologna they might use pancetta or bacon, butter, tomato sauce, beef or chicken broth, nutmeg, parsley, oregano, basil and even in Modena they garnish it with balsamic vinegar. The traditional one is simple and flavorful, it was one of the best souvenir I brought from this trip. Enjoy it:
What you need:
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef (85/15 or 90/10)
- 1 lb. Pasta (pappardelle, orecchiette, tagliatelle or long egg pasta, better)
- 1 can of 20oz. pear tomatoes or 3 tbsp. tomato paste (canned San Marzano DOP tomatoes better)
- 3/4 cup white wine (chardonnay or pinot grigio)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, peeled, small diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, small diced
- 1 celery, clean, small diced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to taste
What you need to do:
- In a big pot on medium temperature, add olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, a pinch of salt and cook until very tender. Don’t browned, just slow cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the meat, salt to taste and stir. Increase temperature to and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Then add the wine, and wait until it evaporates, then add the tomato paste or canned tomatoes without the liquid, the bay leaves, and simmer on medium high temperature for about 15-20 minutes or 30 if you have time.
- While you cook the meat, boil the pasta in water with salt, until al dente.
- In a separate pan, mix the pasta with the meat, some cheese and then served a glass of red wine. Cheers!