Monday, February 15, 2010

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I had this pasta dish at a friends house and really loved it. I also made it for Valentine's Day for my family and a few friends, and again it was great. This was my first time to cook with wine. I never knew, until making this recipe, that you can buy cooking wine in the vinegar section at the grocery store. The recipe is on the Williams-Sonoma website, but my friend suggested a few changes which make this dish a little easier.


Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
4 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
2 TBSP olive oil
3 slices pancetta, chopped
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 leeks, chopped (or 1 yellow onion, chopped)
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
5 fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
1 lb. fettuccine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 TBSP of the butter with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté until just starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the leeks, carrot and celery and sauté until aromatic and very lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and pork, stir to break up, season with salt and pepper, and add a generous pinch of nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium and sauté until the meat is lightly browned. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated.

Add the stock and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, sage and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours. If the sauce seems thin, cook it, uncovered, until thick and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Skim the surface of excess fat. Add the cream. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the remaining 2 TBSP butter and 2 TBSP of the cheese. Toss until the butter melts. Add the sauce and toss gently. Serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 6 to 8.