Thursday, July 30, 2009

spaghetti with simple bolognese sauce

(*not all of the ingredients are shown here.)

I wanted to try a new recipe for meat sauce, so I went with this one from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook. This was a great change from my ordinary meat sauce: This robust sauce is practically bursting with flavor and definitely satisfying. I will make this one again, for sure.

In an effort to make dinnertime easier, I made this early in the day and let it simmer in my slow cooker rather than a shorter cooking time on the stovetop. It was so nice to come home to the aroma of dinner practically waiting to be served, as all I had to do was cook the pasta, along with a couple of quick vegetables. The next time I make this, I'll likely double or triple the recipe to freeze some for future meals, because there was just a small amount of sauce left over after my husband and i were finished (we did have generous seconds and like a lot of sauce...this recipe usually serves 4). The only thing I think I would adjust is the salt: I didn't have any celery and decided to substitute celery salt so I wouldn't have to buy a whole bunch of celery just to use one stalk. Since I used celery salt (it was all I had), I felt like the sauce was just a teeny bit saltier than I would have liked it to be. I think using the celery would have been a better choice, or even using celery seed. That said, I recommend seasoning the sauce with salt after it's simmered for a while and you've tasted it, so you can adjust it to your liking. Other than that, it was great!

Simple Bolognese by Giada De Laurentiis
Courtesy of Everyday Italian
the recipe may also be found online here.

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground chuck beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese(i used parmesan cheese)

D I R E C T I O N S :

stovetop directions:
In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When almost smoking (i suggest cooking it over medium heat), add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. This will take approximately 1/2 hour. Finish bolognese with Pecorino Romano Cheese (*or parmesan)

slow cooker directions:
Cook onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and beef on the stovetop according to the above directions. After the beef is cooked thoroughly and the vegetables are tender, transfer everything to your slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients, minus the cheese. Cook on high 4-6 hours or high 8-10 hours. Wait to add the cheese until just a few minutes before serving, stirring so it can melt into the sauce.

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