Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pasta Bolognese

Fact: I am carbo-loading in preparation for Thanksgiving. Not entirely intentional, it just so happens that I decided to thaw the bolognese sauce from the storm prep to eat this week. And pasta was on special for $1 (seriously, how do you resist that??). So now I have all these bowls of pasta bolognese that I can just pop in the microwave. I believe this is what people refer to as 'portion control'. Here's the thing about portion control, you can have individually packaged/portioned items so you don't eat too many but that doesn't stop you from eating multiple. Like those 100 calorie packs of cookies. Genius in theory, you eat one, you get your cookies, you don't overeat. But what is stopping you or me from eating another one because the first one just wasn't filling? Well, the good news about portion control with pasta bolognese is I don't like to do dishes. So one serving is sufficient to avoid doing more dishes. At least I have portion control on my chores.

Lots of pasta. I saw a shirt that said "Eat Pasta, Run Fasta". I don't think that rhymes.

Okay, so this post is far overdue as it was probably one of the first things I actively made from scratch. This recipe comes with a special history as well. A couple years ago, my college friends and I were hanging out at our friend's parents' house because they are super cool and give us really good food and free reign. While my guy friends were being--well they were being guys so I took a little break and joined my friend's mom in the kitchen (no stereotyping people!). Over the cooking of bolognese I got all kinds of fun stories about my friend (mwahaha) but I also really enjoyed chatting with her. So years later (no literally, it has been years), I finally got the recipe and discovered the secret: you pretty much wing it. It's like the perfect recipe for me! I don't measure, I can change the meat, I can add whatever I want and I pretty much can't mess it up because IT'S DELICIOUS!!!!

Storm prep: have ziploc bags, will thaw.
Now, whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I order pasta bolognese. This is to see if any bolognese can compare (answer: it does not).

The other magical thing about this recipe is someone requested I post it. Zomg, please take a moment to be happy with me that a) people read this (247 views, what up??) and b) listen to me when I go to Italian restaurants for lunch and tell this story. This recipe is legit people, true family recipe, it's not even online, it's a pdf on my desktop. It appears that I leave some things out (whoooops) which is why, children, we should reread things.

So go forth, make pasta and bolognese. Make it with sausage or make it with ground beef or even ground turkey! Add vegetables, add seasonings, go crazy!

Delicious! But my pasta to sauce ratio was a little off. Need more bolognese!

Recipe with my commentary in italics:
  • 2 lbs chopped beef/turkey/sausage (sausage as patties or empty cased ones--if you don't mind handling meat)
  • Prego tomato, basil, garlic sauce (1 bottle for 2 lbs is good)
  • Olive oil to coat pan
  • Crushed garlic
  • Grated cheese
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (parsley is optional but I had to put them in order of the song, Scarborough Fair)
  • Bay leaves
  • Brown sugar (or white)
  • Caper liquid (not for use with sausage as meat)
  1. Saute crushed garlic in olive oil and break up meat (if you burn the garlic, start over)
  2. Begin adding spices, turning meat every 3-4 spice additions. Add more garlic, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano. Add sparse covering thyme sage and onion powder. Add caper juice if necessary. 
  3. Once the meat is browned, add approximately 1/2 jar of sauce. Stir gently and add warm water (...water? Whoops) until meat is almost covered. Alternate until it looks right (intuition my friends).
  4. Add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle of grated cheese and 2-3 large bay leaves (if someone could explain bay leaves to me, that would be awesome because I see them as those things that are in my food that I don't want to eat).
  5. Bring to boil for 2 minutes and let simmer, covered (I have no cover) for 10-20 minutes
  6. Retaste, add spices to adjust (I'm no expert, I just add a bunch of stuff and guess. I don't think you can mess that up)

No comments:

Post a Comment