bolognese sauce with pappardelle
Remember that soffrito from last week? Well here is your opportunity to use it! Bolognese is the ultimate comfort food. Rich, meaty and deeply flavoured. Plus there’s pasta. And parmesan. Heaven.
I am finally back in the UK, after a somewhat chaotic combination of flights home. You know how it goes with connecting flights. It’s just fate that the first flight is always delayed so you won’t make the connection. Then you get rebooked onto some weird combination of other flights that get you to your destination hours later than you were supposed to arrive. Then they lose your luggage.
I consider myself to be quite lucky that they did manage to find it and get it to me by the day after I landed. I wasn’t that bothered about my clothes, more that my suitcase was packed with gifts for my family! It was so nice to be able to hand them out today after thinking I wasn’t going to see them again.
The weather here in England is PERFECT. So to all of you out there that moan about British weather, I deplore you. After months of constant sweaty heat and humidity, it is SO nice to actually experience Autumnal weather. The leaves are floating off the trees in the breeze, the air is crisp and cool and the sun is bright and high in the sky. The sunsets are gorgeous, the outlines of the skeletal trees in sharp black contrast to the pink and purple hues.
Now is definitely the time for big steaming bowls of slow-cooked goodness, and carbs. Plenty of carbs. Expect several helpings of pasta, rice and grains over the next few weeks, as well as all the stews, soups and braises. This bolognese is an Italian classic, and a great one to keep packaged up in individual portions in the freezer for those nights you want slow-cooked flavour in a hurry.
You can either serve this with homemade pappardelle, or store bought if you want something quicker!
- Serves: 8
- Prep: 20 mins
- Prep: 20 mins
- 1/2 lb pancetta cubed (1cm)
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 1/2 lb ground pork
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
- 6-8 tbsp soffrito (see Soffrito post)
- 1 cube beef bouillon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- grated parmesan to serve
- Add the pancetta to a large saucepan with a lid, or a dutch oven. Over a medium low heat, fry the pancetta for about 20 minutes until the fat has rendered out and the pieces are crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan. Drain the fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tbsp to fry the meat. Keep the rest to the side. o, 1 beef stock cube. cover and simmer.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and add the ground pork. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the meat up as it starts to cook, then leave it alone for about 10 minutes to caramelise and crisp up.
- Remove the pork from the pan and do the same thing with the ground beef. Add the pork and the pancetta back to the pan, along with the tomato paste.
- Cook this for a few minutes to evenly distribute the tomato paste, then add the wine, salt, bay leaves, milk, crushed tomatoes, soffrito, bouillon cube and a few rounds of freshly cracked black pepper.
- Turn the heat down to low, pop the lid on, and leave it to simmer! Every 30 minutes I like to come and check on it, give it a stir, make sure it isn’t drying up. If it is, add 1/2 cup water.
- Leave the bolognese to cook for at least 2 hours, 3 if you have the time. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavour. At the end of cooking, if desired, add the butter for richness.
- When ready to serve, cook your pasta a little under al dente, and finish it in a pan with the bolognese sauce to help the flavour soak into the pasta. Serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.