tagliatelle bolognese

september is half way, and it is finally getting cooler in tokyo. one day we had typhoon coming towards the island of japan, and after buckets of rain, the temperature dropped quite significantly. for the past few days i can feel the gentle, autumnal chilliness which my body remembers from a year ago. despite the rain outside, the humidity seems to be much less, and the cool breeze so comforting.

for the first time in months, we opened a bottle of red wine – today’s dinner is tagliatelle bolognese, cooked with a generous portion of the wine coming from the same bottle.

this is my old recipe. i’ve been cooking the same sauce for the past 8 years or so. i discovered it in one of the italian cooking books i had, and changed here and there as i have done my trials & errors. here are the ingredients i use for the bolognese sauce:

3 table spoons (or even more maybe) of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
3/4 of onion, 1 celery, 1/2 carrot, fresh rosemary, all finely chopped, or put in a food processor altogether
300 – 400 g of minced pork/beef (mixed)
1+ cup of red wine (or generous pour directly from the bottle!)
10 – 15 cherry tomatoes
a lot of ground pepper
1 – 2 tea spoon of salt

the tip of this sauce is to simmer the vegetable in low heat for 15 – 20 minutes (this way it gives some sweetness to the sauce). then add meat, put the flame up to medium heat, cook it for a few minutes until the meat is brown, then pour the wine, put the halved cherry tomatoes, put the lid on, lower the heat again to minimum and simmer again for at least 30 minutes. add salt & pepper to taste at the end. after turning off the heat, it’s even better if you can leave it for 1 – 2 hours for the taste to settle, and reheat before serving. the ingredients above should serve 4 people at least.

i sometimes make the double portion of the sauce, first to eat with tagliatelle or penne or rigatoni, etc., and then a few days later i make one of my signature dishes, lasagna (i hope to upload the recipe sometime in the near future).

tagliatelle bolognese reminds me of italy, especially the central part of the country – bologna, of course, where the dish was originated, firenze, siena, roma… whenever i miss the beautiful landscape and their delicious cuisine, i prepare this dish as if to compensate the missing piece of la dolce vita.

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