take my word for it wednesday.. it's been a year of blogging and i made bolognese sauce.

i can't believe it's been a year.. i decided to start this blog because the kids would ask me to repeat a recipe i had made and for the life of me i couldn't remember the ingredients or if i had the forethought to write it down where i put the darn recipe (you see i have about 1000++ recipes kept for i'd like to make one day or we did like it and i would like to make again all in a chest..) or to try and remember what magazine i saw it in heck i can't remember some morning to take off my slippers and put on my work shoes no way i could remember which magazine i read 6 months.. ha ha so this seemed like the most logical choice.. a place where not only i but family and friends could have access to the recipes.. and i have enjoyed this year so much.. can't wait for the new culinary adventures this year...

sooo last sunday i cooked all day umm seems like that is turning into a sunday pattern.. it won't last long as soon as it starts heating up and the weather gets nice we will be at the lake on sundays.. i better take advantage of the time when i have it.. so last week i got an italian basket with my bountiful basket and couldn't pass up the opportunity to use it.. shell declared it her favorite basket and could we get it more often! so what i did is make the bolognese sauce on sunday and served it over penne with a salad and herb flat bread.. we had the kids and pete's parents over..  with the left over sauce i made the lasagna on monday.. yum!!! for the sauce i pretty much followed anne burrell's recipe which can be found here..  i made a few changes but not many..she cooks hers low and slow and layers her flavors.. it's to die for.. so good!!

now onto the promise.. i blog hop and see all these pretty bright pictures of tempting food and drool then i come back to mine and see dark drab pictures and my apologies for the dark drab pictures.. so NO MORE... well i will try not to anymore.. no more pictures on my black counter tops in my dark (yet oh soo gorgeous) kitchen.. now i can't say a post or two won't have them because i do have about 25 photo's and recipes to still post but i will try from this point forward to take only happy bright photos!!! *BIG BRIGHT SMILE*

bolognese sauce

prep time: 45 minutes
cooking time: 4 hours and 30 minutes
servings 6 to 8

1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
kosher salt
3 lbs. ground chuck (i used turkey)
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups of red wine
3 bay leaves
1 bunch, tied in a bundle
fresh grated parmigiano

in a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery and garlic into a course paste.  In a large dutch oven over medium heat, coat pan with olive oil (about 2 or 3 swirls around).. add pureed veggies and season generously with salt.. bring pan to a medium high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown.. stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes.. anne says be patient this is where the big flavors develop. add the ground beef or turkey and again season with salt generously.. brown the meat.. as anne says brown food tastes good.. no rushing this step... cook another 15-20 minutes.. add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 5-7 minutes.. add red wine.. cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4-5 minutes.. add water to the pot until the water is about 1 inch above the meat.. toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything..bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  as the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 cups at a time..this is a game of reduce and add more water..this is where the big rich flavors develop.. if you try and add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than thick meaty sauce.. (i ended up adding 2 cups 3 different times) stir and taste frequently..(yeah you don't need to tell me that twice it was so darn good) season with salt.. simmer for about 3 /12 to 4 hours..  during the last 30 minutes of cooking bring your water to boil for your pasta.. salt your water liberally this is the only chance you get to season the pasta.. if your pasta is under seasoned  it doesn't matter how good your sauce is it will taste under seasoned!! cook your pasta to package directions.. when done drain and put in big bowls.. now back to your lovely sauce.. make sure to remove your bay leaves and thyme bundle and give your sauce a big stir.. now  heap a big ladle of sauce over your pasta.. drizzle with a little olive and parm!! i served it with a caprese salad, recipe found here.. and fresh herbed flat bread.. recipe found here.. but instead of cheese on my bread i used only my fresh herbs from my bountiful basket chopped sprinkled over a with a little olive oil.. everyone loved the bread! (ohh and on one i put roasted garlic..)

now round two....

bolagnese lasagna

approx. 10 cups bolognese sauce
1 box lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1 bag of part skim shredded mozzarella
15 oz container of park skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup fresh chopped herbs (i had oregano, basil and thyme )

in a small mixing bowl combine your ricotta, eggs and herbs together and set aside.. now heat your oven to 375 degrees (f) and arrange your rack in the middle.. spread about 2 cups of the sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of your casserole dish.. i believe i used a 13 by 9 pyrex.. start by layering your uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, then a layer of ricotta cheese then mozzarella then top with another approx 2 cups of sauce.. again noodle, cheese then sauce using approx the same amount each layer of ingredients.. take a cup or cup and half of water and pour around the edges of your dish (this will cook the noodles) the water should kinda float around the edges.. cover tightly with foil and place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.. remove the foil and cook another 15 -20 minutes you want the edges kinda brown.. remove from oven and let sit for about 20 minutes before slicing... so it can set up or you will have a big blobby ooeey mess.. which isn't so bad to eat but not very pretty for serving.. ha


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