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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. 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.)

                                                        2. I agree with others and say follow Hazans recipe. It is perfect.once you make it you will want to have it in the freezer all the time.

                                                          1. Look no further than this:

                                                            http://83.137.212.42/sitearchive/cre/...

                                                            If you saw his shape it would be obvious that this man KNOWS about pasta!

                                                            Less ingredients and rather simpler than many recipes, which is truer to native Italian practice. Using all beef is fine, and I add garlic in with the meat.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Robin Joy

                                                              That is a lot of tomato for a Bolognese, no?

                                                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                You could use less I guess, but this really works. Also I'm sure that it's truer to Italian cooking in using more toms/veg to meat, reflecting pasta's origins as economical peasant food. The quantities in Carluccio's recipe actually feed 6 in my household, but US tastes might need more meat per head.

                                                                1. re: Robin Joy

                                                                  Though the Bolognese is a northern Italian style dish. With stronger tomato base the sauce is closer to the Italian-American 'sunday gravy' with southern Italian roots.

                                                                  Omit the tomato entirely, and use a white wine, any you get a ragu bianco (white sauce) (guess which Iron Chef American episode I am watching).

                                                                  1. re: Robin Joy

                                                                    Bolognese is a meat sauce, not a tomato sauce. Almost all the traditional recipes I've seen include very little tomato. This makes sense as Bolognese originates from Emilia Romana which is one of the richest regions of Italy so this is not a peasant dish. It is a rich indulgent dish.

                                                                2. re: Robin Joy

                                                                  He calls it a "ragu bolognese" but with that recipe jfood would classify it more of a ragu than a bolognese.

                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                    About 15 years ago I took a client to Carluccio's renowned "Neal Street Restaurant" in London for dinner. After we sat down we were shown a little wooden tray of the Italian truffles which were to be used in the kitchen that evening. My client, totally misunderstanding, said: "Thanks very much", picked one up, popped it into his mouth and ate it!

                                                                    If I remember rightly, a lively discussion with the manager then ensued.

                                                                3. We always use the one from Cooks Illustrated, which does have a little tiny bit of milk in it. Their recipe is really, really good.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: ourhomeworks

                                                                    I'll second the CI recipe - it also includes wine as well as three types of ground meat (veal, pork, and beef). I was VERY impressed with myself the first time I made it...and was very unimpressed with myself when I doubled the recipe and had to hurry the simmering the second time I made it.

                                                                    Side note - while visiting relatives over X-mas I looked at a Rachel Ray cookbook for the first time and it included a recipe for bolognese sauce - now that was an ugly recipe!

                                                                  2. It's probably inauthentic but I don't care because it is delicious: it is a recipe from Emeril and can be found on the fodd network site.

                                                                    1. I personally like Mario's recipe. . . and he leaves lots of room for personal touches too.

                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqBqiG...

                                                                      1. Karl S. posted these great instructions/recipe for Bolognese years ago and they have served me very well.

                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1424...

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                          That sounds good too..very thorough instructions.

                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                            I am pleased they have proved worthy. It's been a while since I last made it. Hmm. While it's far from tomato season, the middle of winter is a time when I am more in the mood to nurse a ragu along its leisurely journey....

                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                              Well, I'm resurrecting this thread from last month. I had posted rather extensively above that I used Anne Burrell's recipe, and liked it a lot. But I also said that it didn't have the milk as others have said is required for a true bolognese.

                                                                              So - since I had the day off, and had the ingredients (well, everything up to the proper pasta, it seems!), I thought OK, today would be a good day to make a proper bolognese, and not a "ground meat braise" as jfood called Burrell's recipe. :-)

                                                                              After looking around, I found Karl's post from 2002: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1424... and thought that looks like one I'd like, as it was using pancetta, and used just tomato paste vs. Marcella's canned tomatoes with their juice - I liked the idea of the tomato paste blended with beef stock. I *did* have to make a few substitutes, as I was working with what I had in the house. My subs:

                                                                              > I used a couple of slices of Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon for the pancetta

                                                                              > I used a combination of 1 lb. of ground chuck (85/15 mix), 1/2 lb. ground pork and 1/2 lb. ground veal for ground meat

                                                                              > My milk base was 2/3 cup Organic Cow 1% and 1/3 cup of half-and-half

                                                                              > I used double-concentrated tomato paste from a tube

                                                                              I will, unfortunately, have to use spaghetti, as I don't even have any linguine in the house (how the heck did that happen?), nor do I have any penne (how the heck did that happen?) and I'm so not gonna make fresh pasta. :-P

                                                                              Based on my taste tests while I'm at the end of the last reduction, I do believe I will like this recipe very much. Thanks, Karl! And by evening's end, I will have several more 2-cup containers to store in my chest freezer down in the basement for those "what am I going to make for dinner tonight?" situations upon getting home from work. If Mom's really nice to me, maybe I'll give her one as well. :-)

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                It is a great luxury having those little packages (I use freezer bags) in the freezer :) I need to inventory mine. I may be down to just TWO. Like jfood, that's going to make me a little nervous. Will have to plan some time to make more. Mmmm.

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  oh the cross jfood bears sometimes, but the end does justifythe means. :-))

                                                                                  Glad you enjoyed the sauce, that's the importantthing and withthe correct bolognese, sometimes speghetti, is well, OK.

                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                    I will be honest - I did like it, but I'm not sure how often I'll make it as the process is definitely a full day thing!

                                                                                    I do admit that I prefer a red meat sauce over the bolognese, but I did enjoy it. I'd have been *really* P.O.'d if I spent all day making this and then didn't like it! LOL

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      Well, ya know, I say the world would so boring --- and really expensive! --- if we all liked the same thing.

                                                                                      BTW, what is your "red sauce"? Never want to close the door(s).

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        It's almost always different, but usually, it's the following - pretty basic.

                                                                                        olive or canola oil
                                                                                        1 small-med. sweet onion, diced
                                                                                        1/2 lb. of cremini mushrooms, sliced or in large dice
                                                                                        1/2 red pepper, diced
                                                                                        3 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                        1 lb. of ground chuck (85/15)
                                                                                        1/2 lb. sweet sausage squeezed out of their casings - usually 2 sausages - I think that's a half lb. (sometimes I use hot Italian sausage, sometimes regular ground pork)
                                                                                        2-4 Tbsp. tomato paste, more as needed
                                                                                        Large can (28 oz.?) of Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes (although I've ordered a 6-pack of the 6-in-1 tomato sauce from Escalon as noted here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5822... and will be trying that next time I make a red sauce).
                                                                                        Small can of Muir Glen fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
                                                                                        1 bay leaf (or 2, depending on size)
                                                                                        oregano
                                                                                        salt & pepper, to taste

                                                                                        Heat up the olive oil in a dutch oven/stockpot over medium-high heat, toss in the onions, mushrooms and red pepper and sauté for a bit, adding the garlic towards the end. Add the ground beef and sausage/pork and brown, adding some salt/pepper at this point.

                                                                                        Add the tomato paste and blend in with the meat/veggie mixture, then add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Tuck in the bay leaf(ves) and the oregano (usually dried), and taste for additional salt/pepper needs. Let it simmer on the back of the stove for an hour or so (I have an electric stovetop, so I usually set it on the flame tamer.)

                                                                                        I like a very thick, meaty/veggie sauce, so the amount of the diced/crushed tomatoes depends on how much meat/veggies I brown/sauté.

                                                                                        Toss it with spaghetti or linguine, top with freshly grated aged Parm-Reg cheese, have a slice of garlic bread alongside, and I'm good. :-)

                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        to be honest, sometimes jfood like to take some ground beef, onion and spices, brown them up, throw in some of his bottled sauce and over some penne. 40 minutes and its still a good meal.

                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                          I agree although I almost always use sausage, either my own or store bought. But how can ya go wrong with meat, onion, tomato flavor and pasta? Oh, right, garlic. Oh, right, a little red wine - in the sauce and in me.

                                                                              2. And by way of the 'sneaky fish sauce' thread, a Saveur recipe with some flavor enhancers (umami, or meaty qualities)

                                                                                http://www.saveur.com/food/classic-re...

                                                                                distinctives:
                                                                                - all pork
                                                                                - star anise
                                                                                - coriander seeds
                                                                                - ketchup (in addition to whole crushed tomatoes
                                                                                )- worcestershire sauce
                                                                                1⁄4 tsp. fish sauce
                                                                                Tabasco
                                                                                sherry vinegar

                                                                                Dried mushrooms are a common Italian ingredient. They might contribute umami as well.

                                                                                Another Saveur recipe - for the 'official' classic bolognese (as determined by some Bolognese group). As with Hazan's recipe, it is light on the tomato, and generous on the dairy.

                                                                                http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/%2...

                                                                                and one with more tomato
                                                                                http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/An...
                                                                                and a quote about what is traditional:
                                                                                "From ten women, you'll get ten different recipes, all of them traditional."

                                                                                all of these come from issue #110, on Classic Pasta
                                                                                http://www.saveur.com/food_new_recipe...

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  Make the Anna Nanni recipe from Saveur. The results taste like you are in Italy.

                                                                                  1. re: emily

                                                                                    What month? Can you paraphrase?

                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                      My post has links to #110 with a bunch of Bolognese recipes, including Anna's. Just above the 10 women, 10 recipes quote.

                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                        Here's the link to the Nanni recipe (which was included in the post above):
                                                                                        http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/An...

                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                      These were the bolognese recipes I was thinking of when this thread came up, issue #110, summer 2008:
                                                                                      • Alessandra Spisni's Ragù alla Bolognese
                                                                                      • "Classic" Ragù alla Bolognese
                                                                                      • Ragù Enriched with Chicken Livers (Ragù di Fegato di Pollo)
                                                                                      • Homemade Tagliatelle
                                                                                      • "New Style" Ragù alla Bolognese
                                                                                      • The Cardinal's Ragù (Ragù per i Maccheroni Pasticciati)
                                                                                      • Anna Nanni's Ragù alla Bolognese
                                                                                      • Baked Spinach Lasagne (Lasagne Verdi al Forno)
                                                                                      http://www.saveur.com/food_new_recipe...

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        I made the "official" Bolognese as per the Saveur recipe above. It was very light on tomato, to the dismay of my Trenton-raised wife. However, it did come out well, but I had to substitute pancetta for bacon, which I think will make a tangible difference. I query whether the 1 1/2 hourse of simmering with gradual addition of milk is necessary--seems like one could add at once and reduce the cook time.

                                                                                        Most likely, I'll try the Nanni recipe next time.

                                                                                        1. re: equinoise

                                                                                          Hazan's recipe has no pancetta or bacon, milk goes in before the wine and it barely simmers for three hours! Those of us who have made larger batches have stayed up very late at night before all that liquid was gone. She actually describes it as something like a bubble occasionally breaks the surface of the sauce. But, it's oh, oh so good that I'll never fret about the time again.

                                                                                      2. I'm in the process of making the Hazan recipe as we speak..random question: Why no garlic?

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                          I don't think there is a definitive answer but in my opinion it's because this recipe is all about the meat. There is minimal vegetation, just enough to add some sweetness. Try the recipe as is and if you like, add garlic next time. It's just a recipe, you can alter to suit your own taste.

                                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                            It smells heavenly right now and I've just only added the milk! I was prepping the veggies and usually I put garlic in everything, but this bolognese (and many others) didn't have it in the recipe. Just curious! I'm making a double batch of this recipe because I have many hungry men coming over to eat later. I can't wait to taste!

                                                                                            1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                              The only people that would not like this recipe are vegetarians and even most of them would have to admit that it smells amazing.

                                                                                          2. re: krisrishere

                                                                                            Since I'm Italian-American (1/2 -- the Italian side came from S. Italy) I can't resist adding fresh chopped garlic, fresh chopped basil, dried basil, dried oregano. She calls for butter and veg. oil -- I go along with her butter but have to put olive oil.

                                                                                            I think these additions make a great recipe even better.

                                                                                            (A few years ago, a French chef taught me to remove the inner greenish germ in the garlic -- he said this is what gives people indigestion. After I peel it, I slice it once lengthwise, remove it, and finely chop.)

                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                              I'm half Southern Italian as well (Naples and Sicily) and it's hard to resist adding garlic, but for my first try with Hazan's recipe I'm going to stick to it. I did turn the burner up a little on the wine phase as mentioned above. Just about to add the tomatoes..so exciting! I did however, forget to get bread (sacrilege!) so hopefully hubby won't mess it up while I run to the store.

                                                                                            2. re: krisrishere

                                                                                              Because it's a northern Italian dish?

                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                Many Italians go by the "rule" that onions and garlic together cannot go in the same sauce. At least in Rome (where I lived for several years) onions and garlics are viewed as divergent flavors that do not complement one another in a sauce. For Bolognese, I omit garlic and stick to traditional Italian soffrito (onion, celery, and carrot). I love Hazan's recipe but I always manage to alter it every time I make it. I add a bay leave when cooking the soffito for example. I use olive oil with the butter often and do half beef, half pork. I love how the milk tenderizes the meat and the white wine flavors it. I find that the drier the wine, the better the taste. Another great recipe of hers is a tomato-based sauce with soffrito, rosemary, and pancetta - so sweet and yummy.

                                                                                            3. I make the recipe in the Dean and Deluca Cookbook.Very meaty (pork, veal and beef) with some tomato sauce. Has grated carrots and finely chopped chicken livers which you cannot taste but lend a certain richness to the sauce. No milk or cream, but suggests that you can add some at the end if you wish. This is a really delicious sauce.

                                                                                              1. Mario's bolognese is the best i've ever made. The recipe is very similar to Hazans

                                                                                                1. I made Emilia's Bolognese sauce last night. The final simmer (after the wine) took a bit short of 4 hours. I made 3x since i ended up with 1.5 lb of beef and 1 lb of Italian sausage. I also used a half bottle of red wine instead of white. It smells kinda fragrant and there is still some tannins left in the sauce- though but the sauce boiled down to very nice consistency... I wanted to use up the wine from the night before and i wish i didn't. any pointers to fix this? (not that the sauce is not good)

                                                                                                  if i am able to put my commercial idea of speg and meat sauce aside, this is a very rich, and specially complex sauce.

                                                                                                  the recipe didn't call for any herbs or seasoning. I am thinking i should throw some basil/ rosemary/ fennel or something in..

                                                                                                  Thanks for the great post. perfect time to get back to the basics.

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jeniyo

                                                                                                    The only seasoning is typically nutmeg. No herbs - herbs are for other sauces, not this one.

                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                      Made the Hazan recipe today. Not sure why everyone is crazy about it, I found the nutmeg to be rather overpowering the other flavors (and I stuck to the 1/8 ts).

                                                                                                      Admittedly, the sauce did not simmer for 10 hours, just 3. Maybe that's why.... (?)

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        Not everyone likes everything. That would be boring, wouldn't it? I'm a newbie to this recipe and DO love it. Mine and Walker's took that long because he tripled and I quintupled the recipe. I don't know how long a regular size portion would take. But I think the point is that, at really low temp, you're reducing all the milk and then all the wine. Not just simmering. But too bad it's not your cup of sauce. Maybe you can give it away.

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          I made the amount given in the regular recipe which ended up being plenty for two people, and there are no leftovers -- so nothing to give away '-)

                                                                                                          I didn't say I hated it, I just found the nutmeg to be overly strong. Admittedly, I am not crazy about nutmeg, and whenever I use it for other dishes (like mashed potatoes), I use *very* little so as to just have that hint of it.

                                                                                                          I like my bolognese to taste meatier, richer, creamier.... and less nutmeggy. Different blokes, different strokes.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            Yes, that's why mine takes so long -- I don't know how long just the regular recipe would take but I'd think more than the 3 hrs linguafood took. (Love your egg yolk -- am looking for something great for my pic.) I, too, don't like a lot of nutmeg but I cannot really taste it in this recipe -- lingua: did you have all the other items in the right amounts?

                                                                                                            c oliver: by the way, I'm a "she." I couldn't think of anything clever when I first signed up so just put my last name.

                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                              Linguafood thought it wasn't meaty enough and yet some have described the consistency as Sloppy Joe-like. Maybe it didn't cook down enough. Cause I sure think it's meaty as all get out :)

                                                                                                              walker, this is so funny. I was just sure that you were a young, gay man in SF. Probably because you're so nice and helpful :) When next we're down from Tahoe, maybe you can give me pasta lessons.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                This gave me a good laugh. I'm almost 65 (how did that happen) but feel and think of myself as about 40. I would love to give you a pasta lesson next time you're here, but I'm only an amateur. (But, feel I really accomplished something doing this this past year!)

                                                                                                                I'm glad you've been successful, too.

                                                                                                    2. I notice nobody has quoted an actual Italian source. Here's a quick and dirty translation of Ragù alla bolognese from my bible, Le ricette regionali italiane, by Anna Gosetti della Salda.

                                                                                                      150 g ground lean pork or veal
                                                                                                      150 g ground beef
                                                                                                      100 g pancetta
                                                                                                      60 g butter
                                                                                                      an onion, a carrot, a rib of celery
                                                                                                      half cup red wine
                                                                                                      tomato sauce [it will emerge that this is actually 1 tablespoon tomato paste]
                                                                                                      a little broth
                                                                                                      milk
                                                                                                      meat extract, salt, pepper

                                                                                                      Mince finely the onion, carrot, celery, and pancetta. Put it all in a bowl, add the meats, and mix the ingredients very well. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the mixture. Brown it well, then add the wine, half a cup of hot broth, and a little meat extract dissolved in warm water. When the broth has evaporated, add another half cup and let it evaporate. Add a level tablespoon of highly concentrated tomato sauce, salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover the meat with boiling milk. Cover and cook until the milk has completely evaporated.

                                                                                                      BTW the canonical flour to egg ratio for Bolognese pasta is 100 g soft-wheat flour to 1 medium egg. The two cups of tomato paste of one of the recipes cited is very strange indeed, and makes me suspicious that it derives from a translation problem.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                        Marcella Hazan is from Italy, no?

                                                                                                        I do think that I'm going to weigh my flour tonight rather than measure. I have an accurate digital scale that does ounces or grams. At 6400' and extremely low humidity, I would think it could make a difference.

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          Marcella, for whom I have the greatest affection and respect, is from Italy, from the seaside town of Cesenatico, in Romagna, to be exact, but she has lived in the US for decades and doesn't write for Italians. Her books are not strictly Italian sources (though I think her ragù recipe is great, and it is much like the one I translated).

                                                                                                      2. To me, bolognese is about the cream. Love Emeril's recipe that goes with his lasagne bolognese (1 tb. tomato paste, heavy cream, bacon, ham etc.). It's the ONLY one I use now and I have Marcella and other recipes for it that don't touch it. Find it at foodnetwork.com or at emerils.com - or google it. It's really yum!

                                                                                                        1. After reading these posts I made the Hazan bolognese recipe yesterday. I tried to follow it exactly but ended up substituting cream for the milk and added some garlic with the onions and a bay leaf (I couldn't help it!). I tripled the recipe and used one part pork to two parts ground beef. It tasted amazing and there's enough leftover to freeze.

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: foodio

                                                                                                            I'm curious why you substituted cream for the milk.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              It was all i had in the fridge! It was half and half cream.

                                                                                                            2. re: foodio

                                                                                                              When I make it I have to add chopped garlic, dried basil and oregano, and fresh chopped basil. I just think it makes it much better even if, technically, it is not called Bolognese.

                                                                                                              By the way, how long did all this take? When I triple the recipe, it takes me 10 hrs. I'm thinking of doing more than the lowest simmer once I add tomatoes.

                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                There's certainly nothing wrong with adapting someone else's recipe. Then it becomes Walker's Bolognese rather than Hazan's. I think it's perfection as it but that's part of what makes cooking fun, isn't it?

                                                                                                                I did a 5x and, yeah, it took forever. I too am going to bump up the heat some at the same point as you next time.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Why not make that Walker's Meat Sauce? With garlic and oregano, it's nobody's bolognese.

                                                                                                                2. re: walker

                                                                                                                  Mine took the better half of a day - 6 hrs total I believe. In retrospect I probably should have made a bigger batch (5x) since it would only take a few hours longer and the triple batch really only gave me enough for 1 more meal after all the sampling along the way!

                                                                                                              2. I had posted asking if there's a quick and safe way to chop carrots and I used the example of making a 5x recipe of Bolognese. Someone suggested FP and someone suggested grating. Anyone have any experience with either of those for this recipe?

                                                                                                                Edit: And if I CAN use grated, would I adjust the amount, thinking being that grated carrot would be "fluffier" than chopped and that more than the called for amount might be needed?

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Well I tripled the recipe and just cut the carrots and celery by hand.....chopped them very roughly and it all just melted by the end. But I think the food processor would work well.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    Just my 2 cents: I think if you grated the carrots, when you measure, just stuff down tightly in measuring cup or if recipe says 5 carrots, just use 5 carrots -- I think it'll all come out the same in the end.

                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                      I'm inclined to use the FP as I think I'd get more the equivalent of chopped but after 10 hours, it probably doesn't matter. Thanks for weighing in, walker.

                                                                                                                  2. Does anyone have any thoughts on using a slow cooker with the lid off or cracked for the all day bare simmering process? I'm not gonna be able to leave the gas stove on all day while I'm at work and even on a relaxed weekend there's at least one birthday party, a grocery shopping outing, church and other reasons I have to leave the house. And even if I leave my husband with detalied insturctions for what to do, it's 50/50 odds he'll forget there's something on the stove that needs regular looking after.

                                                                                                                    I'm trying to come up with a way to cook low and slow, but safely, without burning the food, the house or giving us all food poisoning. So I was going to try the slow cooker for a good stock and reduction one weekend and also wondered if anyone had tried it for the Bolognese recipies which I want to try but have been put off of by the time committment. Yeah, I know I can committ to a spose, a child, a house and a job but not a recipe. Go figure.

                                                                                                                    How would an oven set to low possibly work? It's an even dry heat from all sides of the pan, say like a cassoulet.... anyone think it might work? I could get away with that on a weekend when the spouse would be home but not necessarily needing to tend to anything in the kitchen other than say, stirring periodically.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: aggiecat

                                                                                                                      Have you actually read the recipe? Unfortunately it requires attention off and on during the entire process, i.e., occasional stirring, adding water if it starts to dry out, etc. She does say, however, that if you can't tend it the entire time you can turn off the heat whenever you need to leave and then resume later as long as you complete in one day. MY slow cooker would never get low enough for her instruction of "just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface." Which I think could be adjusted up just a tiny bit. As to the stove perhaps, but I don't think you'd accomplish anything cause it still needs attention. It is SO worth the effort.

                                                                                                                      1. re: aggiecat

                                                                                                                        I've done the simmering phase with a slow cooker and it was fine. My slow cooker temperature is actually lower than the lowest burner setting on my stove and with the slow cooker I can leave the house for an hour or two if I need to.

                                                                                                                        1. re: frobe

                                                                                                                          I also think it depends on how old the slow cooker/crockpot is. The older ones (made more than 10 years ago) cooked at a lower temperature (not sure what the temp of an "intermittent bubble" on the stovetop would be).

                                                                                                                          http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ib...

                                                                                                                          and

                                                                                                                          http://foodpluspolitics.com/2009/01/1...

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Good point, LW. Mine are fairly new and no way is low an "intermittent bubble."

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              I have two crockpots - one is a Rival from about 25+ years ago. I can do a very low simmer on that (making chicken stock) and it's perfect. The smaller one is newer, and it's "low" temperature finishes things in 4-5 hours. I don't use it all that often because of that.

                                                                                                                      2. Just a little update. I made a QUINTUPLE recipe of Hazan's Bolognese sauce yesterday! I now have ten two cup portions in the freezer and feel wealthy beyond words :) Although I will dink around with other recipes, this one needs no tweaking in my opinion. My KA meat grinder attachment is on a road trip and won't be home til tomorrow so, with advice from alan barnes (who else for meat advice?) I chopped the four pounds of 7-bone chuck in the FP. It worked great. And since I had 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 cups of different vegetables to chop I used the FP for that also. In all cases, I erred on the cautious side so it wouldn't be mush. That part of the process anyway went MUCH faster. Of course, with the larger amounts I was also using larger quantities of liquid (5 cups each of milk and wine) so it takes forever to cook. But I made the commitment the day before that I could be home all day and that was that. By bedtime it was done. Since I live in a "magic house" I left it covered on the stove overnight and packaged it up and froze it this morning. Like jfood, I'm very happy looking at all those packages in the freezer and anticipating all the great meals to come. I hope anyone who is hesitating about making this will do it. It's SO worth it.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          You have no idea how happy jfood is to almost be home for 10 days and grabbing some time with mrs jfood and frozen goodies from the basement. He thinks he has a couple of Hazans and got cheese ravioli in stock, so sunday night may be a great huggable-comfort night

                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                            Mr. O is arriving back here (Lake Tahoe) tomorrow. It's turned chilly here (even snow at the higher elevations) so I'm thinking about making some tagliatelle with some sauce for tomorrow night's welcome home dinner. We'll pretend it's cold and snowing out.

                                                                                                                        2. I thought it looked good when I watched her make it last year except I find it tastes much better with a variety of meats, not just beef. She also adds too much salt.