Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I like 'em rich - My Bolagnaise Sauce
I think most people grew up with their families version of Spaghetti Bolagnaise. There is no right or wrong with this meal. I've known people to even add vegemite. My own Bolagnaise has evolved over time. Now with small children I make sure I add some vegies in there too.
My most standout memory was when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Tasmania. We had a quick meal at an Italian restaurant in Hobart before seeing a show at the Theatre. The place was packed and we were squeezed into a tiny table next to the Gelato freezer. I ordered a simple Spaghetti Bolagnaise. What was delivered in front of me will never be forgotten. I could taste lamb, rosemary, red wine, sweet, sweet tomatoes. The balance of richness and saltiness and sweetness was unbelievable. I often think back to that beautiful meal and I've tried to emulate it ever since. Here's my version, I hope you enjoy it too.....
Chop 1 brown onion, 1 stick of celery and 1 carrot finely. Add some oil to a frying pan and pop over a low heat. Add the vegetables. Chop up 2 cloves of garlic finely and add to the vegetables. Let them sweat down for about 5 minutes until they are lovely and soft. When ready add 500g lamb mince. Brown the meat over a high heat then add 4 slices of prosciutto or about 30g worth, torn up(alternatively you can use 2 rashers of bacon, diced - The prosciutto will give it a more richer flavour but it will also give it a lot more fat so you may prefer to use bacon instead, it's up to you) Now throw in your herbs. I like using dried herbs so i use a mix. A touch of marjoram, a touch of oregano and a touch of thyme and then I use some fresh finely chopped rosemary. I love the flavour of rosemary so I use a good teaspoon but see how you go, you may want a more subtle flavouring. Stir and when it is fragrant add a good half cup of red wine. When the liquid has nearly all evaporated add your tin of chopped tomatoes and a touch of salt and pepper. (You don't need a lot of salt because of the bacon or prosciutto and you'll add more pepper just before serving. I just like to add it to tomatoes.) Give it all a good stir. Turn the heat down to medium. For the sweetness I add some ripe cherry tomatoes which I keep in a bowl at room temperature in the kitchen. Chop about 8 or so in half and add to the frypan. Now fill the tin that had the tomatoes in it with water and add to the pan. Depending on how long you want to simmer it for. I add 2 full tins of water to simmer it for an hour and a half but you can just use 1 full tin of water for about 30 - 40 mins. It's ready when all the water has gone and you are left with a rich, thick Bolagnaise. Serve with spaghetti and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.