Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese

LUCY BURDETTE: Did you know that today is National Sticky Bun day?? Even so, I am not going to make them for you for two reasons. 

First, the Old Town Bakery in Key West makes a recipe that is so good I could not possibly compete. And second, it would be death to our waistlines to have an entire recipe of these buns in our kitchen. We would feel obligated to eat all of them.

Instead, I will offer you a delicious dinner of spaghetti Bolognese. (To be entirely accurate, I chose ziti for the pasta, but you can pick any shape you like.) This recipe makes a lot of sauce. We had it for dinner and then froze two large containers, which will give us two other nights of pleasure. I put it all together on one day, and did most of the simmering the next.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced (about a cup--I did this in food processor)
1 and 1/2 cups minced carrots (about 6, ditto food processor)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup white wine
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 cup of milk

Saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil about 5 minutes in a big stockpot. Add the garlic, cook 30 seconds more. Scrape the vegetables out of the pot onto a plate. Brown the beef and pork, breaking it up into crumbles. Drain the fat. Add the veggies back into the pot with the drained meat. Now add wine and cook this down a little. (We happened to have the white wine left over so I used some of that--you could use either color and be fine.)

Now add the tomatoes, breaking them up in the pot as you stir. I like to make sure little hunks of skin are not left on the fruit before I add them to the pot, but you be the judge of whether running into skin in your sauce will annoy you:). 

Add the tomato paste and the herbs. (Some recipes call for fresh chopped parsley, which I did not have so I made do.) 

Add the milk. Simmer the whole thing about two hours until alcohol has evaporated and flavors blend. 

Serve this with pasta of your choice topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (Not the stuff in the green can, oh lordy no...)    


Meanwhile, don't forget that you can pre-order TOPPED CHEF so you'll have it on hand when it comes out in May!

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  1. No fair! You know everybody is going to want a stickybun. (Hmm, my daughter had a recipe from her middle-school home ec class--wonder where I put that?)

  2. My next trivia game question -- name a recipe that includes milk and wine. Milk? I never thought about that, but it would cut some of the acid from the tomatoes, wouldn't it? I have to try this!


  3. I know it sounds really strange, but the result was amazing. I've seen other recipes with a lot more milk, or milk and heavy cream, but this tasted just right.

  4. I'm with Krista. I wouldn't have thought of milk either, but I like it in a red cream sauce, say, on Chicken Cacciatore, so yes. Yum!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Mmmm, chicken cacciatore, there's a good idea for supper....

  5. "Not the stuff in the green can, oh lordy no..." LOL!

  6. Cook once, eat three times. Brilliant planning!
    And yummy, too.
    The milk addition sounds a little like penne a la vodka sauce.

    1. Libby, I have a friend whose husband will not eat leftovers. Ever. Silly man. Luckily, my hub is much smarter and will take whatever he can get:)

  7. Lucy - Delicious post and recipe--I love all the flavors you have in there, including the red and white wine. It's interesting to see everyone reacting to the milk in your sauce. Our family did this for years. It's what we call a "pink sauce," and Marc and I often stir milk, cream, or half-and-half into a red sauce to cut the acid. It makes for a lovely, smooth-tasting sauce.

    ~ Cleo