Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
* 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, finely chopped
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 1 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 1/2 pound ground beef
* 2 cups milk
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 2 cups dry red wine
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound dry tagiatelle pasta
* Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
* 1 handful fresh basil leaves
* Fresh ricotta cheese


Reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes until
tender, drain and coarsely chop.

Puree the mushrooms, pancetta, onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic,
together in a blender.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add olive oil, bay leaves, herbs and cook
gently until fragrant, then add vegetable puree and continue to cook
for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

Raise the heat a bit and add the ground pork and beef; brown until the
meat is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the milk and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10
minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and wine and season with salt
and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.
Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring now and then, until the
sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet
firm (as they say in Italian "al dente"). Drain the pasta well and
toss with the Bolognese sauce.

Serve with a good scoop of fresh ricotta cheese and garnish with some
shredded basil, grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil

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