Saturday, February 13, 2010

Orecchiette Bolognese

This rich and meaty sauce is cooked slowly for a few hours and then tossed with pasta. I love using orecchiette pasta - that pasta shaped like little ears. I love the way they hold the sauce, making each bite a taste explosion. Serve this with some crusty garlic bread and a crisp green salad, and you have a delicious dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of bacon, chopped
3 stalks celery, minced
1 onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb beef
1 lb veal
12 ounces tomato paste
2/3 bottle of red wine (I like using a cabernet sauvignon)
1/3 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon - or you can toss in a few cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander and fennel seed
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb orecchiette

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium heat and add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until softened, about 20 minutes. Add salt, pepper, bay leaves, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano, coriander and fennel, and thyme. Increase heat to medium-high, and add the beef and veal.  Cook until no longer pink. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and reduce. Pour in the beef stock. Simmer for two to three hours. Keep adding stock if it seems dry. When cooked, remove bay leaves (and cinnamon sticks if using them) and add unsalted butter, heavy cream, and parsley. Take off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Mix with the orecchiette and enjoy!

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