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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Bolognese, Lidia Style

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bolognese, Lidia Style

Bolognese.  The very name conjures up all sorts of happy thoughts for me.  For years now I've been making this version, and have been totally happy with it.  It's stupid delicious, after all.  

However, I received a copy of Lidia Bastianich's Lidia Cooks From The Heart of Italy for my birthday and have been dying to cook my way through it ever since.  This bolognese is one of the basic recipes at the back of the book and it looked too good to not try.

There's no denying that the creation of a good, full-bodied bolognese takes time.  Because it does.  It's a real labor of love.  But this recipe makes more than enough for one or even two meals, so you can cook your little heart out one day and have yummy bolognese for another night.  It's perfect for freezer cooking!

The flavors in this sauce are so complex and well-developed.   It's rich and satisfying, and worth every minute of prep and cooking time.

2 lbs ground beef
2 lbs ground pork
2 cups dry white wine
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 oz bacon or pancetta
5 garlic cloves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups red wine
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups crushed tomatoes
8-10 cups hot vegetable stock or water
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, pour 2 cups white wine over ground meats and, using your fingers (or a potato masher, as I did), mix so meat is moistened with wine. Set aside.

In food processor, process bacon or pancetta and garlic into a smooth paste.  Heat olive oil over medium heat and add this paste.  Break apart and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fat is rendered and paste begins to brown slightly.  Add onions and sweat for several minutes.  Add carrots and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until vegetables soften and turn a golden color.  

Turn heat up to medium high.  Push vegetables to one side of pot (or pour into a separate bowl, which I did) and add meat to pot, then sprinkle with salt.  Allow meat to brown on bottom, then mix in vegetables.  Liquids will totally cover the meat/vegetables, so allow to cook down for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and lowering heat if necessary.

Pour in red wine and cook until wine evaporates.  Stir in tomato paste and allow to brown for a few minutes.  Pour in crushed tomatoes, then swish can out with one cup of vegetable stock and pour that in as well.  Simmer until liquid no longer covers meat.  At this point, add vegetable stock in batches - pour in enough to cover meat, around two cups at a time, and simmer until meat is no longer covered.  This entire process will probably take between one and two hours. I said...a labor of love.  But good golly, is it worth it.  You'll want to dive right in a bathe in this sauce, I promise you.  We decided out of the two bolognese sauces I've made (three, actually, if you count Alton Brown's which I only made one time), Lidia's bolognese is superior.  This is the sauce I'll be making from here on out.  And as frequently as possible.

And for the record...the fettucine in the picture is homemade.  But that's another post...

Sharing with A Southern Fairytale,  Skip To My Lou, From Mess Hall to Bistro33 Shades of Green, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Blessed with Grace, All the Small Stuff, Designs by Gollum, 504 Main, Simply Sweet Home & Tidy Mom  - drop by and pick up some great recipe ideas!



Blogger Gigi said...

That looks delish! We record Lidia's show, she's great. Of course, she also makes me fall asleep watching her. I don't know why!

January 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Blogger Liz said...

I have some issues with meant and sauce being mixed together. Now I LOVE pancetta in anything, but the ground beef, etc with sauce and noodles makes me gag.

I'm totally weird!

January 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Anonymous Dead Cow Girl said...

You are totally making me hungry! And I just had a steak! I might try this soon... LOVE a good long slow cooked sauce.

January 24, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Blogger Poppy said...

This looks like an excellent dish for carb loading and any recipe that calls for 4 cups of wine sounds great to me.

January 24, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Blogger blueviolet said...

That looks absolutely amazing...but homemade are so much better than I could ever hope to be!

January 24, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Blogger KLZ said...

Now, I can't say that doesn't sound delicious, but I am entirely too lazy to put all that together.

January 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Blogger Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Yum! That's a cookbook I would want to cook my way through. Forget the weird French stuff. Italian is it!

January 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Blogger The Empress said...

ACK! Temptress!

I'm trying to lose 25 lbs by this weekend, and pictures like this won't help!!

January 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Blogger Jen said...

that looks delicious! I'd love it if you'd link it up to my new Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

January 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Blogger Mo 'Betta said...

This looks and sounds delicious! Def. a labor of love :)

January 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Blogger Megan Hassen said...

Yum, and with homemade noodles! Impressive. It's been ages since I've made pasta from scratch. Sounds like fun.

January 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Blogger Jen said...

Thanks for linking your recipes up to Made From Scratch Tuesday! Hope to see you next week! From Scratch Tuesday/

January 25, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Blogger Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

That looks incredible! And homemade pasta? Wow!!

January 25, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Blogger Ellen said...

I think your sauce has made me hungry, again! I'm bookmarking it so I can make it. Thanks for visiting me at A Season for All THings. I can't wait to get to know you through your blog and find some great recipes. I'm your newest follower. ~ Ellen

January 25, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Blogger It's a Keeper said...

This recipe looks amazing! I would love for you to link this or any of your recipes to my blog hop @ It's a Keeper Thursdays.

Thanks so much for sharing!

January 26, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Your blog makes me smile, and your recipes look DELICIOUS, I will definitely be trying some soon!

January 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Blogger Jacky Hackett said...

This looks so delicious! I have had a craving for this, which in unusual since I have never made it. Will give this a try!

January 27, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Blogger alissa said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I think I am going to try it and even bring out my pasta maker - it looks like this bolognese is worth it!

Thanks for linking got Tasty Tuesdays.

January 28, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Blogger Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Oh, my! That looks delish!

January 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Blogger Holly said...

Hubby would love me forever! I just shared this on Facebook! I am hungry now!

February 5, 2011 at 12:59 AM

Anonymous I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Hi! Here from 31dbbb. Just stumbled this. Beautiful pics!

February 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM


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