When my kids sleep over at their Grandma and Grandpa’s house they always return with tales of all the yummy things they got to eat while they were there, and although we eat pretty well over here too, they always seem to have that extra special something at their house that makes my mouth water. It makes me want to sleep over too. Maybe next time instead of dropping off, I’ll just hang out and see if anyone notices the extra mouth to feed.
A couple of years back, they started returning with tales of a new dish they’d had and loved: Pasta Bolognese. Elizabeth especially loved it and whenever anyone asked her what her favorite meal was, she’d say “Spaghetti Bolognese.” She’d constantly request the meal at home, but the only problem was, I didn’t have “the” recipe for it and I knew it was a pretty involved recipe. The last thing I wanted was to go through all the work with the wrong recipe only to have her say, “It’s good but it’s not as good….”
Recently she had to submit her favorite recipe for a troop cookbook for Girl Scouts. Her first choice: Spaghetti Bolognese. I still didn’t have it. Her second choice: Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce, also a recipe I didn’t have. Her final answer: Grandma Rose’s Famous Tuna and Spaghetti. BINGO! Finally, a recipe I had! After hearing my tale of recipe woe, my mom gave me the recipe for the Bolognese Sauce they make.
One recent rainy Sunday we decided to try it out. Don’s Kitchen opened up and he went to town cooking up the recipe. The recipe itself is one my mom got from a family friend. It turned out wonderfully! We used just one part of how much it made so we froze three batches: two for our family and one for company.
Thankfully, when we asked Elizabeth for the verdict on how it came out, she said, “It’s perfect.”
Ragu alla Bolognese
1 and 1/2 stalks celery
1/2 of a large onion
1 and 1/2lb lean ground hamburger (or you can use a mix of beef, pork and veal. We used just hamburger our first time.)
3/4 stick butter
2 cans kitchen ready tomatoes (28 oz.)
2 cans beef broth, 2 cans water
6 TBS. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1/2 cup red wine
Dice celery, carrots and onion very fine. (Don used the food processor.)
Brown lean meat in butter and oil. Add vegetables to meat.
Put tomatoes through the blender. Add to mixture.
Add beef broth and water, salt and pepper.
Allow sauce to come to a boil and then simmer on low heat for two hours uncovered or more.
You can skim oil off the top when done.
Option: you can add heavy cream or half and half at the end if desired, for more of a pink vodka sauce.
Makes 5 meals for two with two pounds of meat.