Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pasta Bolognese

I am very excited to kick off our first weekly recipe    Just to recap, we will post a recipe on Thursday for all of you to try on Sunday night for your family dinner.  We always want your feedback: how you changed it, lightened it up, or even a new idea taking the basic concept a step further.
Florence, Italy
Our youngest sister has just left for a semester abroad to Florence, Italy and Joanne and I are already missing her.  Even though she is away at college for most of the year, it's still nice to know she is easily accessible with just a phone call.   Katie is still snap chatting me (an app on the iPhone) constantly with cute pictures of her in Italy and the sights.  As an ode to her travels, I wanted to kick off our blog with a Tuscan meal.   This is why I chose Pasta Bolognese.  The original Tuscan meal calls for wild boar ragu but since there isn't much wild boar roaming around Boston, we will settle for other more accessible meats.
I have made this meal before as a part of my annual New Years Eve dinner.  It was my first time making a large meal for my husband, then boyfriend.  For that Christmas, I received the Babbo cookbook, an amazing restaurant in NYC.  Another part of my gift was various cooking instruments with different gift cards to merchants in the Italian Market in Philadelphia.  While I don't recall every cooking tool I received that year, what definitely came in handy with this recipe was my giant Le Cruest stock pot.  I got it in the flame color (traditionalist at heart this was the original color of all of their cookware).  I went down to the market on the 30th of December to pick out my ingredients, an adventure in and of itself.  The butcher shop we went was extremely helpful grinding together the veal, pork, and pancetta which made such a difference.  

As a warning, there is a lot of chopping involved with this recipe but it is well worth it.  It is important that everything is roughly the same size, carrots, meat, celery, etc..  This will provide a very consistent sauce.   Make sure to simmer it for the full suggested time and try to remember that Sunday meals should not be a race but an experience.  Sit back and relax with the family enjoy the scents.

Bolognese Sauce
Taken from Babbo Cookbook    

Time- 30 mins active
           1 hr 30 mins inactive

  2 small onions, finely chopped
  4 celery ribs, finely chopped
  2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1/4 lb pancetta, ground by butcher or finely chopped
  1 lb ground veal
  1 lb ground pork (*not lean)
  1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  1 cup whole milk
  1 cup dry white wine
  1 cup water
  1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  1 1/4 teaspoon fresh kosher salt
  1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

  • Cook onions, celery, carrot, and garlic in oil in a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened ( roughly 5 minutes)
  • Add pancetta, veal, and pork and cover over medium high eat, stirring and breaking up lumps until no longer pink (roughly 6 minutes)
  • Stir in tomato paste, milk, wine, water, and thyme, and gently simmer covered until sauce is thicken (1 to 1 1/2 hours)  Add salt and pepper and remove from heat
Best paired with pappardelle pasta.  Remember to take note of the proportion of pasta to sauce.  This is as much a celebration of the pasta as the sauce.  You want the pasta to be coated in sauce not swimming it.  Freeze any extra if there are any.  Frozen lasts for one month; fridge lasts for 2 days.  

Happy Eating!


  1. Made this recipe for dinner for 3 Saturday night. I was surprised it only called for 1 small can of tomato paste but as it simmered, the tomato sauce developed. I did drain the fat after cooking the meats. I would make this again, maybe subsituting chicken broth for the water to add additional flavor. It was delicious.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback! I did skim the fat too, it helps get the oily residue out! Adding the chicken broth is such a good idea to get even more flavor. We look forward to your feedback on future recipes as well! Hope you enjoyed your Sunday Supper! Thanks, The Supper Sisters

  2. Tommy SmallberriesJanuary 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I have so many questions....first...Are you twins? second...can you Philly girls fill us in on scrapple...what is iy? I need it? ...should we keep it out of New England?....lastly, is the cheese on a Philly cheese steak really cheese-wiz? and if so, who's idea was that

    1. Hello! No we are not twins. We are just about two years apart. Secondly, you've inspired a future post so be on the look-out for the ins and outs of scrapple. Finally, unfortunately I hate to inform you but yes cheese-wiz is really on top of many a cheesesteak, the origins of which I do not know. May be an interesting wikipedia addition though!