Sunday, November 2, 2008

The end of a lovely weekend

Alex and I just got back from Durham. We had a great weekend that was capped off with a beautiful technicolor sunset on our flight home. Can you believe this?

Highlights from the weekend:

  • Partying with 18-21-year-olds (or were we just observing them in their natural habitat, like the guy who follows the Geico gecko around?)
  • Teaching Patrick how to cook a couple of our favorite dishes
  • Running in shorts in 35 degree weather (oops) before breakfast at Foster's, which was delightful (almost as delightful as Guglhupf - thanks for the suggestion, Mom!)
Thanks to Patrick for being such a great host!

And to help Patrick or anyone else who wants to make awesome Bolognese (Cook's Illustrated's old recipe), here's the recipe:

From The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated (original 1999 1st edition)

5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp minced carrot
2 tbsp minced celery
0.75 lb meatloaf mix or 0.25 lb each ground beef chuck, ground veal, ground pork
1 c whole milk
1 c dry white wine
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes packed in juice, chopped fine with juice reserved

(Kathleen notes: I probably don't use the full 5 tbsp butter, just enough to put a good layer of butter on the bottom of the pan. I double the veggies and it still doesn't seem overly veggie-y. If you cannot find meatloaf mix or if buying each of those meats requires a huge expenditure, you can trade for half beef chuck, half pork or even all beef for the kosher folks. I use 2% milk instead of whole and it's still good. I don't think the kind of white wine matters that much; use something you want to drink. I think the real San Marzano tomatoes sold at Costco are the best money can buy, and it's less than $4 for a huge 128 oz can, but you have to want to make more than just this if you don't want to feel wasteful. I also don't chop the tomatoes and instead I put them and their juice in a bowl and carefully squish them with my fingers - Mario Batali style. FINALLY, I also use 1-2 tbsp of good tomato paste, where noted in step 1 below.)

1. Heat 3 tbsp butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat (Kathleen note: once the butter is melted, I add the tomato paste and cook until a nice deep tomato smell emerges, 2-3 minutes); add onion, carrot, and celery and saute until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add ground meat and 0.5 tsp salt; crumble meat with edge of wooden spoon to break apart into tiny pieces. Cook, continuing to crumble meat, just until it loses its raw color but has not yet browned, about 3 minutes.
2. Add milk and bring to simmer; continue to simmer until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, 10 to 15 minutes. (Kathleen note: I usually bring this to a pretty full boil otherwise this takes much longer than 10-15 minutes.) Add wine and bring to simmer; contune to simmer until wine evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes longer. (Kathleen note: Again, I boil this.) Add tomatoes and their juice and bring to simmer; reduce heat to low so that sauce continues to simmer, just barely, with an occasional bubble or two at the surface, until liquid has evaporated, about 3 hours (if lowest burner setting is too high to allow such a low simmer, use a flame tamer). Adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste. (Kathleen note: I also add a little freshly ground pepper.)
3. Enjoy with your favorite pasta.

(More Kathleen notes: Cooks recommends serving this with fettuccine. I think it works best, and is less messy, with rotini or penne or some other similar bite sized pasta.)


  1. I can't believe you didn't like Tyler's! We told stories and made jokes and laughed and were jolly and enjoyed food and beer and such...I guess that's not your thing, but I had fun.

  2. The bolognese is amazing by the way. I don't know how I can go back to Prego.

  3. Hey Kathleen!
    Just wanted to let you know I frequent this page when I want to make bolognese sauce now! Thanks!

    Tim (Pat's roommate)