Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ziti Bolognese

I could seriously eat pasta every single day and not get sick of it. Actually, when we were first married, I probably made some sort of pasta dish at least 3 times a week. Then I wondered why I gained like 20 pounds... Anyway, I try not to make it more than once a week or even two, so when I DO make it, it has to be goooood. I saw this recipe on Culinary Infatuation and starred it - I love a good, chunky sauce! Pat is not a fan of spaghetti (I know! And still, I married him anyway...) so I used ziti instead.

This did take me a long time to cook, but that's my own fault. I have a really bad habit of not thoroughly reading recipes until it's time to actually make them. Many a time I have been screwed by not counting the time I needed to marinade... or thaw... or whatever.

Anyway, this was a tad much for a weeknight, but SO WORTH IT!! My house smelled amazing while it was simmering. Next time, I am totally doubling it so I can make lots. Mmmm...

  • 1 lb. ground chuck (I used turkey.)
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon minced (I omitted.)
  • 1/2 cup carrots small dice
  • 1/2 cup onions small dice
  • 1/2 cup celery small dice
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh oregano chopped (I used dried.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1 cup merlot
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes put in the food processor and pureed for 5 seconds (I am too lazy to do the puree thing, so I used a can of crushed and a can of diced. Like I said, chunks are gooooood. Oh, and I didn't know what size can to use - I used two 28oz and it was perfect!)
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. When it comes to temperature, add bacon and sautee until brown. Remove from pot and discard all but 1 1/2 - 2 Tbs. rendered fat. Add carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms and saute until soft. Add ground beef and garlic. When almost completely brown drain in a strainer and return to pot. (I skipped this because it didn't make sense to me. But maybe it has to do with getting rid of bacon fat? So since I didn't use bacon it didn't apply to me anyway?)

Add fresh herbs and bay leaves and let cook a couple minutes. Add milk and let cook until almost evaporated (8-10 minutes). Add Wine and let cook until almost evaporated (8-10 min.)
finally add tomatoes and paste and stir to combine. Let cook for an hour and a half. Serve over whichever pasta you fancy, top with parmesan and enjoy!

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