Pasta Bolognese

Dinner: Cooked a New Years dinner which was my take on Anne Burrel’s Pasta Bolognese. I saw her cook it on her show “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef” a month or so ago, and her adamancy of browning the vegetables and meat thoroughly to imbue deep flavor to the bolognese sauce really intrigued me.  I followed her recipe fairly closely, but I drastically shortened the final cooking time. Instead of adding water and simmering it off repeatedly for 2.5-3 hours, I added a pint of homemade canned tomatoes and simmered that for 20-30 minutes while my pasta cooked. Also, I added just one can of tomato paste; the sauce ended up thick enough and sufficiently full of tomato flavor, even though I’m sure Anne’s method would given it a deeper, richer flavor of something that’s been cooking for hours. I think tomato dishes benefit from that, and I may do that the next time I cook this recipe – when I have more time! Other recipe changes include using just 1.25 lb of 90% lean ground beef, three cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme instead of fresh. The sauce wasn’t too vegetable-y at all – in fact, it was highly delicious! Served over whole wheat penne with a side salad of arugula with homemade dressing of walnut oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and fresh rosemary and sage, this dinner was a winner.

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