Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A More Authentic Bolognese Sauce

I recently talked to an Italian friend from Bologna about what was considered authentic Bolognese Sauce. She gave me the recipe from the Accademia Italian della Cucina. It has very specific instructions about what to use and what was most surprising was the use of only a small amount of triple concentrated Tomato Paste.  The other "authentic ingredients" included Pancetta, Ground Beef, Onions, Carrots, Celery along with Whole Milk/Cream and White Wine. You will notice that there is no Garlic and no herbs in the ingredient list. This is actually considered a Meat Based Sauce not a Tomato Based Sauce. 

The only ingredient that was hard to find was the triple concentrated Tomato Paste.  I used to have some that I brought back from Italy but I didn't want to wait to try to order some online. So I used regular Tomato Paste and the amount called for just wasn't enough Tomato flavor for me so I used 1/3 cup instead of just just 2 ounces. If you like a more pronounced Tomato flavor use the whole 8 oz can.  

This was the best version of Bolognese I have had outside of a restaurant. I served it with La Venzian Gluten Free Fettucine and it was so delicious and so much more authentic!

A More Authentic Bolognese Sauce

1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
8 ounces Pancetta (I get mine from Trader Joe’s in 4 oz packages)
1/2 cup minced Carrots
1/2 cup minced Celery
1/2 cup minced Onion
1/3 cup Tomato Paste (you can add 2 more Tablespoons if you want)
1 cup White Wine 
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk (I used Lactose Free) or 1 1/4 cup 2% milk with 1/4 cup Cream
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
Sprinkling of Black Pepper
Optional:  up to 1/2 cup Beef Broth

Fry the Pancetta gently in the Olive Oil until it starts to release it’s fat - be careful not to burn. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions soften and become more transparent, stirring often. Add the Beef and cook until no longer pink.  Add the Tomato Puree and the Wine, mix well. Add the milk a little at a time until it is fully incorporated, stirring often.
Season with Salt and Pepper and cook on a low heat for 1 hour.  If it starts to dry out, add a little more Milk or Beef Broth.

Serve with Fettucine or Tagliatelle Pasta.

Five Element Analysis

Beef belongs to the Earth Element as do Carrots so this is a primarily Earthy dish.The pasta made from Corn adds even more of the Earth Element. The Pancetta contributes the Water Element and the Tomato Paste and White Wine both bring in the Fire Element.  The Wood Element is represented by the Celery and Olive Oil, whereas the Onion, Butter and Milk make sure the Metal Element is present too. This ends up being a balanced meal all by itself and anything else you serve is extra!

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