One of our favorite go-to meals is Spaghetti Bolognese.
It’s a perfect dish to make when the work day’s are busy and we are too exhausted for culinary creativity. Plus, with all that Elk burger in our freezer, it’s hard not to use it in dishes other than burgers & fries.
This winter, I ventured out of the box in search of a pasta dish that’s more authentic. I wanted to learn a traditional Italian pasta dish that’s nothing like what I’ve made before. So it’s no wonder that I ended up perusing Mario Batali’s website and his recipes – he has made quite a name for himself in the Italian food world.
Plus, he’s also one of the hosts of my fav daytime show – The Chew! Some women DVR soap operas… I do food shows 🙂
The following is an authentic, hearty, luscious, flavor-packed spin on the “American” version of Spaghetti. If you add in some hot sauce or extra red pepper flakes, it can really pack a bunch and warm you up on these cool, rainy & windy winter days!
(You might want to store some in the fridge right away so you can re-live the experience for lunch the next day)
** Note to the home chef: I highly recommend warming up some garlic bread so you can sop up the sauce at the end 🙂
(adapted from Mario Batali’s “Bucatini all’Amatriciana”)
Makes 4 servings
- ¼ cup EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 4 slices of thick, good bacon
- 1 red onion, cut lengthwise in half and then into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
- 2 cups basic tomato sauce (see Mario’s recipe below)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Freshly grated pecorino romano
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes; set over low heat and cook until the onion is softened and the bacon has rendered much of its fat, about 12 minutes.
Drain all but ¼ cup of the fat out of the pan. Add the tomato sauce, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and allow to bubble for 6 to 7 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for about a minute less than the package directions, until still very firm; drain.
Add the pasta to the simmering sauce and toss for about 1 minute to coat. Divide the pasta among four heated bowls and serve immediately, topped with freshly grated pecorino.
Basic Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 Cups
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 spanish onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ medium carrot, finely shredded
- Two 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper to taste
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. If you have extra sauce, it can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 6 months.
Book: Molto Italiano (Ecco 2005), http://www.mariobatali.com/recipes_bucatini.cfm