05 November 2009

A Bolognese Recipe for You, from Cassie and Hugh

I'm obsessed with meal planning right now. Not only are we saving money (no trips to the grocery store for one thing that end with us spending $60), but we're enjoying a wider variety of foods.

We have a list hanging by the stove of meals to make, meals we have all of the ingredients to make. Last night, we tackled Hugh and Cassie's bolognese recipe.

The bolognese was f'ing amazing, and we made five servings for less than $10. Are you f'ing kidding me? That's cheaper than a Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap! (Per serving, of course. Nobody in their right mind would pay $10 for a Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap, unless it was a Diamond Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap. . .)

You'll need diced onions, celery, carrots, and minced garlic.
And some pancetta (1/4 lb. of Wilbur!)

Cube Wilbur.
Cook the onions for five minutes with some olive oil. (I was also pretty happy to make this meal because it afforded me the opportunity to use my beautiful gigantic blue Le Creuset dutch oven, this year's birthday gift from Matt's mom, who spoils me.)
Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for another five minutes.

Add the pancetta and cook for another five minutes.

Then add your ground beef. Matt's really good from here on because it's no harder than taco night. (Which is not to bemoan Matt's cooking skills--he's not only master of the grill, but he makes about half of our meals now.)
Matt wanted to just eat this part with some, I don't know, tortilla chips.
But I convinced him to keep on keepin' on. He added the milk. . .
. . .and the wine. . .

. . .and all of the spices. . .

. . .and the cheese (can you spot a dog?)
. . .and the tomatoes and the tomato paste. . .
. . .until, finally, we had this.
He gave it a good stir.
And then we let it simmer for 45 minutes.

By the end, we had a little piece of heaven.
Seriously, we make some pretty good food. This bolognese, though, was in the top three. I'm going to make the bolognese fight Fresh Market steaks to see which one comes out on top. Then, I'll have a feast of the winner and the loser.
I think this one looks delicious; Matt thinks it looks like brains (also delicious).

Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings
Hands-on Time: 20m, Total Time: 1hr 25m
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 1 carrot, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ pound pancetta, chopped
• 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
• 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
• ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan

1. In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat the oil.
2.Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
4. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, then add the beef and cook until brown.
5. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes or until sauce is thick. Serve with cooked fettuccine. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Mix pasta and sauce together before serving so all the strands are evenly coated and the flavors marry.

I'm now planning on serving this to my family on Thanksgiving Eve. Cassie says I can make it in the afternoon and allow it to sit, during which time the flavors will blend even further, and then I can just heat it up when it's meal time.

I'm in awe. So so so so delicious, and it's cheaper than Taco Bell!

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