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Recipe Monday: Bolognese Sauce

May 14, 2012

Trying to get back into the rhythm of things post-OutlantaCon. 🙂 Today, being Monday, is a recipe day! I make this pasta sauce a lot. It’s one of my favorites, and it’s super easy. You just need a little while for it to all cook down and become thick. We love it here, and we interchange ground beef and ground lamb, depending on budget and what we want that night.

1lb ground lamb, beef, or pork
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, grated
1 rib of celery, diced
2 large gloves of garlic, grated
1 6oz tin of tomato paste
1C red wine
1TBSP honey
1tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1tsp oregano
1tsp reconstituted garlic powder*
1tsp red pepper flakes
1/2C to 1C water

In a dutch oven, brown your meat on high heat. And I mean brown it. It shouldn’t be gray. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to cooking. Let that meat cook. Let it caramelize. That’s where all the flavor is. Once the meat is brown, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat. Turn the temperature down to medium on the pot. In the remaining fat in the pot, add your onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Use a pinch of salt to help the vegetable soften. Don’t get color on the veg, but cook until soft. Add your tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes. This is important to develop the flavor of the tomato paste in the dish.

Deglaze the pot with your wine. Let the wine reduce by half. Add the meat back into the pan and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, reconstituted garlic, red pepper flakes, and honey. Cook for five minutes. Add water to moisten. You want the consistency to be a bit wet, but not thin. Simmer uncovered for about half an hour. The sauce should be pretty damn thick when it’s done. Taste it. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

I serve this over hearty pasta like rigatoni. Top with parmesan and you’ve got warm, hearty comfort food in under an hour.

* Reconstituted garlic powder is easy. Take your garlic powder and put it into a small dish. Add twice as much water (1tsp garlic powder = 2tsp water). Let it sit for five minutes. Bingo. You have reconstituted garlic powder. Why do you need to do this? Because this sauce has tomato, you need to reconstitute it before adding it to the recipe. The acid in the tomato paste will mean the garlic powder never fully hydrates, and therefore you’ll never have the best garlic flavor from it. Any time you need to use garlic powder in an acidic recipe, remember to reconstitute it first. 😉

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