Monday, October 24, 2011

Double Bolognese

Eastside Road, October 24, 2011—
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS "meat sauce," I suppose, Bolognese is one of my favorite things. Basically simply ground beef, tomato, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, with fat of course to bind everything together. There's a good history and recipe on Wikipedia. We often have a shorthand version, made simply all at once in the skillet by making the soffritto with either olive oil or some form of pork and chopped onion, usually omitting the celery and carrot (a mistake, in my opinion), then squeezing tomatoes in: this is the "red sauce" we so often have on pasta.

But the true Bolognese is a much subtler, richer, more highly evolved thing. I can well believe it dates back to the Sixth Century: or, rather, I can't believe it waited until then to be perfected. (And the addition of chicken livers is brilliant: I've never much liked chicken livers, but they'd be perfect in a Bolognese.)

Well: Lindsey made lasagna alla Bolognese last week, with the true recipe, and we had the last teeny little corner of it as a first course tonight. Then came
the dish you see above, fusilli with the extra ragù Bolognese she had cunningly set aside, and a little Parmesan cheese grated on top. Rich, profound, nourishing, totally satisfying. A little chard from the garden, with garlic crushed in. Later some fruit, no doubt, and we'll be ready for tomorrow's fast.

Cinsault, Preston of Dry Creek, 2008

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