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Is this a good Bolognese Recipe?

I've made mediocre bolognese before, however I just saw Anne Burrell's show on Food Network and it looked pretty darn good (besides the nauseating amount of salt that she used). Does anyone have any thoughts on this recipe? Is there a better one out there?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

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  1. Two things standout:
    - 2 cups of tomato paste
    - no milk or cream

    We were just debating whether 2T of (concentrated) tomato paste was too little or not. Another frequent topic of debate is when and how to add the dairy (before or after the wine).

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      I agree. Both of those things stood out to me as well.

    2. No milk? I always thought bolognese needed milk. You might want to try a more established recipe like this one from Marcella Hazan.

      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

      7 Replies
        1. re: somervilleoldtimer

          Do some research. Milk is more common than not in recipes for Bolognese.

          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

            Many bolognese recipes place milk in the mea and reduce prior to the wine to protect the meat from the acid. sorta like a milk wrap. Works really well.

            Hazan is a big advocate of this theory.

            1. re: jfood

              I didn't know meat needed protection from the acid of wine. If that is the case, I can think of a number of recipes that are wrong:
              Bolognese that add the milk toward the end rather than the start;
              ones that don't use milk at all:Peposo, Beef Bourguignonne, Coq au Vin that use wine but not milk.
              Then there are all the dishes that cook meat in an even more acidic tomato based sauce.

              1. re: paulj

                jfood never said right, wrong or anything else other than a description of why.

                Maybe it also relates to the searing of the meat and poultry in BB and CV (jfood does not know what Peposo is) versus just "til the pink disappears" inthe Bolognese.

                1. re: paulj

                  I think that protecting the meat from the acid is Marcella Hazan being cute with language but the diary really adds richness not the sauce. Like I said somewhere else on this thread, this is a meat sauce, not a tomato sauce and the milk just heightens the meatiness.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Well, the milk reduction takes longer than the wine reduction. Milk is ever so slightly acidic, but it seems to be a better layering of flavor for the first and longest reduction to be with milk. I've done it both ways, and milk first is noticeably better to my palate (and obviously others, but not all).

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. This recipe sounds ridiculous, sorry for that word but it's nicer than the others jfood would like to use.

                1 - brown the meat and then cook another 15-20 minutes. blech!
                2 - 2 cups of tomato paste. blech!!
                3 - it will take waaaaaaaaaaaay longer than 4-5 minutes to reduce in half 3 cups of red wine.
                4 - add and reduce with water for 3 hours. are you kidding? unbelievable. double blech!!!

                Jfood wouldn;t touch this recipe.

                Now for a real Bolognese from Marcella Hazan...

                http://www.kitchenchick.com/2006/12/m...

                BTW - there are some Hazan books that have the milk at 1/2 Cup which is what jfood uses.

                Nice picture

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/alarming...

                6 Replies
                1. re: jfood

                  I've made this recipe twice (Anne Burrell's recipe), and while I didn't add 2 cups of tomato paste either time (last night I cut the recipe in half, using 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage), it came out very well. The first time, I do believe I cooked it for 3 hours; last night only 1.5 hours, as I didn't decide to make it until later in the afternoon.

                  I do like Karl's suggestion to reduce using a beef stock instead of water, but making it as Anne Burrell's recipe states (with wine and water) certainly does not make it blech.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    LW

                    With all due respect this recipe strikes jfood more of a ground meat braise than a bolognese.

                    But most important is the fact that you liked it, have made it a second time and have modified to your liking. So for that jfood applauds you. That's what a real cook does in the kitchen.

                    Happy New Year.

                    1. re: jfood

                      jfood, based on what I've read about bolognese sauces, while it does have a tomato paste added (the amount of which in Anne Burrell's recipe you seem to disdain and I was not likely to include in my bolognese), it's the milk or cream seems to be optional, from what I've read.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolognes...

                      After all, recipes (other than baking recipes) are a guideline, right? You (and I) know that it would take a helluva lot longer to reduce 3 cups of wine to half that amount. So I ignored that part of the recipe and did what I knew would work - a good half hour. After all - this *was* from the Food Network - we know how notorious they are for screwing up the written form of recipes on their website. :-)

                      So I think we'll have to just agree that we like different versions of a bolognese sauce, at least until I try one with milk or cream in it.

                      And a Happy New Year to you as well.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        "After all - this *was* from the Food Network - we know how notorious they are for screwing up the written form of recipes on their website. :-) " - Perfect

                        Happy eating LW

                  2. re: jfood

                    i agree w jfood
                    this recipe has no nutmeg no milk or cream
                    as far as milk/cream it adds a richness to bolognese. there is a certain silkyness to it that separates it from all other meat sauces
                    the wine attcks the meat to tenderize it

                    a sauce like this without some milk is just what we call a RAGU
                    the other thing is though beef is ok
                    italy eats more pork products than beef so grnd pork and some panchetta and a touch of chicken liver are an acceptable substitution for the beef OR in addition to it

                    1. re: foodperv

                      I've only made this once but made a 5x batch and still eating it. I had a pork shoulder roast on hand and used that. Fabulous.

                      In your second line, I don't believe you meant to write "no milk...." :)

                  3. Um...i have never heard of milk in a bolognese sauce before. We always use the one out of the Paste Bible by Christian Tuebner and it tastes exactly like the sauce I had in Italy.

                    I think all bologneses should a have a mixture of beef, pork and veal. But maybe thats just me :)

                    80 Replies
                    1. re: jenwee

                      Here's an current thread on whether it is ok to use all pork
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582611

                      1. re: paulj

                        I'm the OP there and it turned out great! It's incredibly rich but that's what I want with that dish.

                      2. re: jenwee

                        the milk is key. dont brown the beef and the milk sweetens the meat. without that its a different sauce entirely. stick with hazan. and use the 1/2 cup.

                        1. re: hyde

                          Now when using the Hazan recipe, are the veggies supposed to be chopped fine or are they left chunky?

                          1. re: krisrishere

                            jfood chops them in maybe 1/8" dice.

                            1. re: jfood

                              Perfect, thank you! I will be using this recipe this weekend :)

                              1. re: krisrishere

                                Block out a few hours. Get a great loaf of bread. And while it is simmering make your pasta dough.

                                Watch the Dolphins beat the Ravens and then enjoy.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Thanks jfood..I agree with everything except the Dolphins part :-P

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    And don't forget a nice bottle of wine

                              2. re: krisrishere

                                The vegetables should be fine enough so they soften and break down during the long cooking. There are there for flavor and body, but shouldn't be very evident in the final product.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  I don't think my carrots were chopped finely enough. But I quintupled ! the recipe and that was about 3 cups of carrots.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I've been wondering how yours turned out. How long did it cook? Did you make fresh pasta to go with it?

                                    1. re: walker

                                      Too die for as everyone has exclaimed! It's funny about the pasta part. The first night I was too tired to make pasta and only had linguine and some whole grain rotini that our daughter had left here recently. I used the rotini and it was the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten. So there I sat picking the pasta out of a pasta dish so I could just eat the sauce. Then I used it as the filling for some crepes and that was totally divine. Soooo the fresh pasta is still on the list. What really great is that by 5x-ing the recipe I have a shootload of B-sauce in the freezer. What I DO know is that I won't ever try another recipe as this is perfection. (Well, unless MMRuth tells me to :) She's MY go-to source.)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        It is hard to believe how good the hazan sauce is until you taste it.

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          Batali will say that with pasta dishes, it's (usually) about the pasta not the sauce but not in this case. I would eat this over broccoli :)

                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          I triple the recipe and it fills my Berndes 4.5 qt dutch oven size pot. (remember, it took me 10 hrs -- how long did yours take??) Next time, I'm going to try to do the last part, after adding tomatoes, a bit higher heat that the mere bubble she recommends.

                                          1. re: walker

                                            This dish depends heavily on reduction. Since evaporation occurs at the surface, the size and shape of the pan is very important. If you double or triple the recipe you will need longer cooking time, unless you use a wide enough pot.

                                            When I used a pressure cooker, which has very little evaporation, I used the normal amount of wine, but much less stock. Also I added the milk after the pressure phase, and used a concentrated slurry made with dry milk.

                                            A concentrated tomato paste will also require less evaporation than fresh tomatoes.

                                            1. re: walker

                                              Well, I quit after 9 hours :) I thought I'd have to cook longer the next morning but it seemed fine. If memory serves me, a 5x would have required 5 cups of milk and wine and I decreased it to 4 each. jfood had a good suggestion for next time. Don't increase the simmer for the milk but probably fine to increase it for the wine. And, yes, I DID increase from the "bubble" for the final cooking. I started out trying to use a 5 qt and that was never going to work. So grabbed a big 12 qt that's pretty heavy. Next time I'll probably use an 8 qt that has a somewhat bigger diameter so that I have more suface area as paulj wisely suggested. But - now that it's over - I'm glad I did it and it IS kind of a rite of passage, isn't it? BTW, did your friends SWOON over your lasagne. They better have :)

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                The one I took on Christmas, the oven was not heating right -- I think it must be off by at least 50 degrees. By the time it was hot enough, most were very full on all the wonderful Middle Eastern dishes the host and everyone else made. I'm sure he enjoyed the leftovers in the following days -- even better then when you're not so full.

                                                The great thing about this is that you have the previous 2 days to make it and it's all done the day of. I'm pretty proud of myself for learning how to make fresh pasta this year -- it's so much better.

                                                1. re: walker

                                                  I've only made it a couple of times - so far. I don't bake so I basically bought my KA for sausage and pasta making. Have made tons of pasta. I think I'm going to make the pasta dough in the KA next time. I have chronic wrist tendonitis and generally weak hands and the kneading is a (literal) pain. I'm sure I'd make pasta more if it weren't so tedious for me.

                                                  I'm proud of you too. What shall we learn to make next?!? We could have our own little club :)

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Do you have an assistant to help you with the kneading? Have you considered doing some of the kneading with the dough hook? I have not tried that yet. I've been using 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 00 but the 00 makes it much tougher to knead. For lasagna, she says to go to thinnest setting, which I do -- # 8. I might try a recipe for butternut squash, ricotta, moz, sage & thyme -- I might omit the herbs as they are so pronounced.

                                                    The other day I tried making yogurt in a crock pot -- something was wrong, came out ropey, slimy. I read accounts on CH and have watched some YouTube videos, will probably try again.

                                                    Have you ever tried freezing the fresh, uncooked fettucine?

                                                    1. re: walker

                                                      I do have an "assistant"- a husband who's more than willing. But I think I AM going to use the mixer the next time, maybe tonight. I haven't tried freezing but did find a thread here "storing homemade pasta." You might want to check it out.

                                                      The butternut squash etc. dish that you mentioned, is that a lasagne? Sounds good. I love sage and like thyme so I probably wouldn't delete. Happy cooking.

                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                      I make all my pasta dough in my food processor. takes about 10 seconds. and then i use the KA rollers.

                                                      1. re: eLizard

                                                        Excellent. Do you have a go-to recipe for the dough?

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Sure do....very simple. 2 C a.p. flour. 3 eggs. I add a pinch of salt and a tsp of evoo, but not necessary..... pulse until you form a ball. wrap in plastic wrap for half an hour to rest, and roll as usual.

                                                          1. re: eLizard

                                                            Terrific. I'll fix tonight (tagliatelli) with Hazan's Bolognese. Only 8a.m. here and I'm already getting salivary activity :) Thanks, e

                                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                                The pasta was a real mess :) But I THINK I know why. With 2 cups flour and 3 eggs it was WAY too dry. So I added a little water (maybe a tbs), still too dry, then more water, then too wet. Then I started adding flour. All this was in the KA. I never got it dry enough but was kinda freaking out :) I know this isn't rocket science for y'all but I've always been dough/yeast phobic. So when I got it out of the bowl, it was ridiculously sticky. I'm guessing at that point, I should have kneaded some flour into it. But I didn't. I wrapped in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about an hour. (Somehow I thought it was supposed to rest there rather than at room temp.) Before I started putting it through the rollers, I sprinkled with flour but I'm betting I should have kneaded it into it. (See I TOLD you I was a dough-ninny!) I just couldn't get it thin enough before it would start tearing. Couldn't go beyond a 4 on the KA. Soooo it was too thick and, when cooked, I detested it. The noodle was like a dumpling from chicken and dumplings that I've never liked. I read someone's suggestion to weigh the flour (I believe it was 100 grams is approx. a cup) and also to not put the full amount of flour in to begin with. Maybe hold back approx. 1/2 cup to see what you need. That would more accurately replicate the well method. I know I've prattled on here but would appreciate any comments. I'm determined to not be defeated :) and to not get paranoid - double :) Thanks all.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Everyone has been there - done that.

                                                                  Jfood uses the Hazan recipe with 2/3 flour and 1/3 semolina. Rare that the dough is perfect and usually too dry. Add just a few drops of water at a time, it is amazing how it changes. Then when it looks right then a little flour on the hands, a little extra kneading and into the frifge for an hour.

                                                                  It took about four tries to get the dough down to the thin levels.

                                                                  keep trying.

                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                    The Hazan recipe I use does not call for semolina. I use 2 eggs (room temp) for 1.5 cups flour and add more flour when I'm kneading if it's too sticky. C Oliver, just do this on the counter or in a bowl if you're afraid the eggs will run all over the place. Knead for at least 10 minutes, wrap in plastic wrap and leave on the counter an hour. (I also all about 1 tsp salt to the flour even tho Hazan's recipe does not call for it.) Then, break off walnut size pieces (keeping the rest wrapped up) to run through the KA attachment. (I recommend some youtube videos.)

                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                      sorry for the confusion. Hazan's recipe does not have semoline, agreed.

                                                                      jfood changed it to the 1/3 semolina and 2/3 regular on his own. likes it better.

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        Jfood might consider trying equal parts hard wheat, soft wheat and buckwheat. Not with the bolognese, necessarily, but it's really good with anything involving eggplant.

                                                                      2. re: walker

                                                                        What's the point of the walnut size pieces? Can't seem to get my brain around that. But I'll do a youtube search.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          You break off that size piece and then flatten with your hand into an oblong, dust on a little flour and start feeding thru rollers. The kneading only takes about 10 min. It's not hard to mix and knead by hand, let rest wrapped in plastic wrap, and then use rollers on KA. (Marcella Hazan much prefers mixing and kneading by hand.)

                                                                          I wish you were my neighbor and I could show you how. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. My fresh fettucine tastes so good with homemade pesto.

                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                            Hey, walker. What I mean was why such small pieces to feed through the rollers? I've probably used pieces about the size of a deck of cards. I didn't know if you then used what resulted directly for your lasagne. I'm going to try it again tonight and using everyone's advice. I'm particularly comforted by jfood's input about it taking several times to get it right.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              Practice makes perfect, right?
                                                                              You flatten out the walnut size piece and then start feeding thru at lowest setting. Go thru each setting to smallest for lasagna (says Hazan). I cut into 10 inch size pieces, put on towels (dust w/flout (I use fine semolina) and cover with another dishtowel. Boiling water, put in about 4-5 at a time, boil 2 min or so, I pull out with a "spider" into a bowl of cold water. Hazan says to rinse each piece under cold running water to gently try to get some of the starchiness out. Put to dry on towels, pasta not touching. Then, start your layering. She says to bake only for 15 minutes -- I did about 5 minutes longer.

                                                                              Have you watched any of the YouTube videos on making pasta? They helped me.

                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                Do you have a specific one? I did a search but there were so many and most didn't have anything to do with what we're talking about. Thanks.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  I liked the technique of this Peter Pasta but I did not use his method of mixing up dough and I did knead it myself. You can look at others here, too.
                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?&am...

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    I don't think the whole youtube address went through right -- just type in Peter Pasta kitchenaid pasta or something and one for ravioli comes up and you can see how he feeds the dough through the machine.

                                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                                          Mr. c cooked dinner tonight and I already have something planned for tomorrow - san spasta. But I'm all set to keep at it. Thanks, j-kid, for letting me know that it took YOU a number of tries.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            so sorry you had such a hard time. I've found that formula fool proof for my kitchen since the get go.....our humidity levels must differ. if you find a formula that works, though, the food processor really is the easiest way, in my opinion.

                                                                            1. re: eLizard

                                                                              We ARE at 6400' elevation and it's super low humidity. But I remain unbowed :) I SHALL overcome! Thanks, eLizard and others.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                i feel so badly that the recipe didn't work for you....my friend calls me the dough whisperer because of my way with bread dough, pastry dough, cookie dough, and pasta dough. flour is finicky, and I wish you luck. i'm a couple feet above sea level in boston.... maybe that had something to do with it.

                                                                                1. re: eLizard

                                                                                  Hi 'whisperer' :) Don't feel badly and, hey, I just discovered something ELSE I did wrong. I totally zoned out and did it in the KA mixer rather than the FP. That certainly contributed to my woes :) Looking forward to the next time - soon.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    Ha! We'll have you making spinach pasta a la Marcella in no time! In the food pro!

                                                                                    1. re: eLizard

                                                                                      I'm impressed too - I've never tried to make home made pasta, and don't have a roller, etc.

                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                        I got my KA mixer (from Amazon, refurbished, for about $170) a couple of years ago basically because I wanted to make sausage and pasta. I don't/didn't bake. Then one daughter got me the meat grinder and I got the pasta making attachment (it's about $100 but figured I could justify).. Well, we made pasta a couple of times using the "well method" ala Batali but it all seemed like a lot of work - the kneading. So I haven't made pasta in quite a while. Using the FP (not the mixer - tee hee) sounded like a good idea. But I learned alot from the fiasco and gratefully wasn't serving to guests. And my husband, who appreciates really good food, will also eat just about anything so he said don't throw it out :)

                                                                                      2. re: eLizard

                                                                                        Progress report! I've made spaghetti using the FP. I decided to weigh the flour and it was pretty amazing. 100 g was probably barely 2/3 cup. And 2 eggs to that made it look like barely big cornmeal. I added another WHOLE egg and it seems fine. It rested for 30 min., then I put it through the pasta maker. Everything seems great, nice and thin. We shall see. The carbonara is partially done (I do parts of it ahead of time.) So about another hour or so, we shall see. The pasta LOOKS great and the parts that fell on the floor were scarfed up by my avatar-dog :)

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          IT WAS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!! Cooked 2 minutes. AND I have enough left for lunch tomorrow. Everybody --- thank you so much for your advice and support. Whew. Glad I'm not trying to be a neurosurgeon :)

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            Did you knead it? Did you use carbonara with FRESH pasta? I thought they always used dried pasta for that. But, if you say it was Perfect, it must have been!

                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                              I did it in the FP and then kneaded just a teeny bit. I also kneaded a little more flour into it just before rolling out. What I had read was that spaghetti is the pasta of choice for carbonara and my attachments include one for spaghetti. It was really good and now I'm hooked :) And you're a big part of my initial success. Thanks, Walker.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                Yay! I'm so happy it worked. And I love me a good spaghetti carbonara. The food processor really makes it easy, huh? Next up for you....ravioli!

                                                                                                Quick questions, how thin did you roll out the pasta for spaghetti? i normally go a 5, but I'm curious to hear what you did.

                                                                                                1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                  I got it down to 7! But of the four pieces, the fourth one just wouldn't make it; it kept tearing. Perhaps because it was the last to get rolled out and therefore hadn't dried enough.

                                                                                                  I'm actually quite interested in ravioli. I have some beef cheeks in the freezer and had Batali's BC ravioli a year ago and it was great. Granted, I'm not going to use "crushed squab liver and shaved black truffles." But I only want ravioli if I can get it really thin. I was actually reading on here about a poster - who's clearly in the cooking profession - who will use wonton wrappers in a pinch and finds them acceptable. So maybe I'll move from spaghetti to fettucine to tagliatelle to.... Ravioli seems pretty advanced to me :)

                                                                                                  And, yes, for me anyway the FP is the only way to go. I did the well method and hand kneading ONCE and, while it worked, it was more work than I wanted to do. I did add the pinch of salt and olive oil that walker uses. Don't know what it did, but if it works for him.... e, thanks so much for your advice. This is the soul of Chowhound. The generosity of 99.9% of the members. I'm sure that spirit contributed to how good that bowl of pasta tasted.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    I have had much luck with ravioli. I have a mushroom batch, a veal batch, and a cheese batch in my freezer. I roll those out to about a 7. Lasagna.....Marcella says to go all the way with those. And 8 is whispery thin, but it worked. I've even made her spinach pasta. She says not to do it in the FP, but I started out doing it with the well, and it ended up in the FP. It worked like magic. Fresh pasta may be on the menu this weekend.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      If you are ready to kick it up a notch here is a suggestion. Jfood made lasagne last weekend and has been working on his pasta.

                                                                                                      1C Semolina flour
                                                                                                      2 1/2 C flour
                                                                                                      5 eggs

                                                                                                      He used his KA and pulsed as much as he could then onto a more with a few drops of water until it came together. Into the fridge for 1 hour. He rolled it to the penultimate setting when rolling the dough.

                                                                                                      The taste was the best he has ever made to the point hat he will now call it quits on his regular pasta search.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                        I'm SO ready :) Feeling downright cocky. Do you have a favorite lasagne recipe. Do you use Bolognese for the meat part? Where does one buy semolina flour? I looked in Safeway the other day and they didn't have. Maybe a natural foods grocery? Or the next time we're in Reno we can hit Whole Foods.

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          I don't use semolina, so I can't help you there. I've tried marcella's green lasagne bolognese, and i am probably the only person on this board who didn't like it. so i'm not sure i'm the person you want to ask..... please do let me know if you find one that appeals to you.

                                                                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                                                                          There are 2 kinds of semolina in the bulk section of Rainbow Health Food Store in SF. I'd bought the "fine" one and have been using it to "dust" fettucine strands to keep them from sticking together. Is this the kind of semolina you use? Have you ever tried 00 flour?

                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                            Old Mill #1 Durham wheat semolina and regular flour is what jfood uses. He also uses the "seal" feature on his Foodsave to seal the bag of semolina in between uses.

                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  Yikes that sounds rich. Normally the ratios are 100g of grain to *one* egg. And normally extruded durum pasta is used with carbonara.

                                                                                                  1. re: tmso

                                                                                                    Oops. I omitted that I used 200g of flour. I was just focused on how much less flour that was than the 1 cup to 1 egg. Yeah, I could have probably frosted a cake with that :) Hazan said that she can hardly imagine carbonara with anything other than spaghetti (I'm paraphrasing) so that's what I went with.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      « Hazan said that she can hardly imagine carbonara with anything other than spaghetti (I'm paraphrasing) so that's what I went with. »

                                                                                                      Um yes, but I assume she was talking about extruded spaghetti made from hard wheat and water, not a fresh egg pasta. But the fact that you liked your eg-on-egg-on-egg pasta is what's important.

                                                                                                      You should definately try playing with varying the grains and hydration; that's part of what makes home made pasta so enjoyable. Durum/hard wheat (grano duro), buckwheat (grano saraceno), spelta, and whole wheat are all good in combination with normal soft wheat flour. Buckwheat pasta goes especially well with sauteed vegetables as a sauce. And replacing some or all of the eggs (depending on the grains used -- the harder the grains, the fewer eggs you need) with vegetable purees is great, too.

                                                                                                      1. re: tmso

                                                                                                        She doesn't go into detail just says spaghetti. But, if I were doing just flour and water, I'd probably just opt for store-bought - which I do at times. I liked the egg-on-egg pasta :) I respect everyone's taste but replacing eggs with vegetable purees almost triggers a gag reflex in me. Just not my bowl of pasta!

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          « I respect everyone's taste but replacing eggs with vegetable purees almost triggers a gag reflex in me. »

                                                                                                          I guess it takes all types, but I though that spinach and tomato pasta were universally loved.

                                                                                                          1. re: tmso

                                                                                                            I've only looked at a recipe for spinach pasta (Hazan's book again as I'm trying not to get confused) and she doesn't decrease the eggs when adding spinach.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              A few comments. Hazan is neither a goddess nor the gardienne of Italian cuisine. She did a very good job of translating a large part of Italian cuisine into American, but she's also prone to a very narrow Emilian view of things, and that shows particularly in her treatment of pasta. Her sections on pasta are excellent, and one could do a lot worse than to just follow her directions. But she only scratches the surface of the wide world of Italian pasta.

                                                                                                              All that said, I just checked, and Hazan does of course reduce the ratio of eggs to grain in her pasta when adding spinach. How could she do otherwise, unless she were to use dehydrated spinach? You start to see the limits of her Emilian narrowness here, as you end out with both a softer pasta and one with less of a vegetal flavor than if she'd reduced the eggs more drastically and made the grains harder. 150 g of soft wheat flour, 150 g of hard wheat flour, a single egg and spinach makes for a more satisfying pasta to my tastes. A good, firm bite, a clear spinach flavor, and just a touch of egg.

                                                                                                              1. re: tmso

                                                                                                                OK Jfood will bite. What does Emilian have to do with pastas?

                                                                                                                And Hazan may not be "a goddess nor the gardienne (sic) of Italian cuisine" but she more than a "very good job". Just so you know that jfood is a big Hazan fan.

                                                                                                                But on page 113 of The Classics the ratio for basic egg pasta is 2 eggs:1.5 cups of flour. Page 126 of the same book the Spinach Pasta recipe has 2 eggs:1.5 cups flour plus the spinach, either frozen or fresh. The ratios are the same. So if you could also reference where you "checked" that would be helpful as well.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  Thanks, son. I thought I was losing my mind - happens too often. Because I too checked where you did cause I didn't want to make a fool of myself. As a recovering dough-phobic, I'm going to stick with her. And if I used 300g of flour, one egg and spinach, I wouldn't even be ABLE to make dough out of it. The two successful batches I made had 200g flour and 3 eggs. That 200g only measured out to 1-1/3 cups but even with that the 2 eggs barely made it look like big cornmeal. I gather tmso likes really dry pasta. To each his own. BFN, mom.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    « And if I used 300g of flour, one egg and spinach, I wouldn't even be ABLE to make dough out of it. »

                                                                                                                    Of course you would. I didn't mention how much spinach, nor the amount of water because those are things I play by ear. Not being dough phobic in the least, I'm confortable adjusting to the appropriate hydration. Of course you will want to wait until you have a good feel for how the dough should act before making improvisations.

                                                                                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                    Interesting, in _Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking_ she gives a ratio of 1 cup flour to 2 large eggs for yellow pasta on p 130, and 1-1/2 cups flour, 2 large eggs and 1/2 pound fresh spinach for green pasta (same page).

                                                                                                                    For what it's worth, I am also a big fan of Hazan. But her regional perspective is both a strength and a weakness. She makes a very worthy effort to include the cuisine of the whole peninsula, but it's no secret reading her, where her point of reference lies. That gives her books a coherency that wouldn't be there in a book by a more cosmopolitan, pan-peninsula cook; it also means she completely omits things like paste di farro or paste di grano saraceno that are important in the cuisine of other Italian provinces.

                                                                                                                    And "gardienne" was an innocent polygot mistake; "guardian".

                                                                                                                    1. re: tmso

                                                                                                                      But I believe the point you were originally making was that she reduced the # of eggs and substituted spinach in their place as the "liquid." Whatever.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        The point I was making is that *one* can reduce the eggs and replace their liquid with vegetables. And that point stands, whether Hazan agrees with me or not, and it turns out that she does. Did you have a point here?

                                                                                                                        1. re: tmso

                                                                                                                          I guess, if I have a point :) , it's that in fact *one* is increasing the flour rather than decreasing the eggs to compensate for the additional moisture of the vegetable. Just semantics, I suppose. In addition, Hazan's recipe for spinach pasta isn't using pureed at all, just cooked and chopped. Pureed vegetables are going to have lots more moisture present, I would think, than chopped. And honestly? I just think good, rich, eggy pasta is so wonderful, I don't ever feel like I want to change it. That's when eating in or out. Just a strongly different preference.

                                                                                                                      2. re: tmso

                                                                                                                        Yeah, once again the Hazan differing cookbooks = differing recipes discussion.

                                                                                                                        And to be honest he was surprised when he saw his two recipes in Classics. He would have thought with the added liquid of the spinch she would have upped the amount of flour needed to absorb the extras. and in Essentials you say she did.

                                                                                                                        BTW - Jfood is from NJ so polygotting is a 24/7 routine.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                            only after a couple of double NJ Italian dogs with fries.

                                                                                                                      3. re: jfood

                                                                                                                        I'm astonished none of the tagliatelle-aficionados has jumped on the question "what does Emilian have to do with pastas?"

                                                                                                                        Marcella is actually not Emilian but Romagnola, but her association with Bologna is such that we can not bother to split that hair. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and is located firmly in the Emilia (inland) half. Marcella was born on the coast, in Cesenatico, in Romagna, but that doesn’t matter.

                                                                                                                        All these fine egg tagliatelle neing discussed, as well as the Bolognese-style ragù that launched this thread, belong to the Emilian tradition of pasta making, and for hand-rolled, tender, transparent egg pasta sfoglia (sheets) it is probably unsurpassed (though I reserve a soft spot for Piedmontese tajarin). But it is hardly the ONLY pasta tradition of importance in Italy.

                                                                                                                        To place Marcella in the Emilian tradition is not to do her an injustice. Quite the reverse. The point is that the world of Italian pasta-making is vast. And different parts have different traditions. Marcella has also adjusted her recipes for her American audience. A good Emilian cook uses soft-wheat flour and medium eggs, no water, no oil. And rolls the dough by hand on a wooden board (essential for the texture of the pasta) and cuts it with a special knife that looks like a machete.

                                                                                  2. re: eLizard

                                                                                    Basic question :) Can it rest MORE than an hour? And, if so, how much more? Thanks, e

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      I don't see why i couldn't rest that long. I'm not sure how much longer....we are talking raw eggs, but i'm not food police, so that probably wouldn't bother me. perhaps someone has experience with putting in the fridge and bringing it to room temperature.....

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        Recently, I had to go out and I left mine on the counter -- wrapped in plastic wrap -- for 4 hrs. It (and I) were fine. But, I guess it's safer to just leave for an hour. (My kitchen was cool -- wintertime.)