Page down to Ragù Bolognese recipe
Sedi, aka Sweet Pea, my little, brown, German, pointy-nosed bitch, has another name added to the ever growing list: Sedi, the Bunny Slayer.
Yesterday, as I was taking the girl-dogs for their morning constitutional, we had AN EVENT!
The girls were running ahead as usual. As I came around the bushes towards the lower part of our yard I thought I saw decrepit, old Sedi, with her bad hips, slip in the wet grass.
I thought I heard her pathetic cry of pain.
I thought 'Oh poor, poor Sedi!'
Then she stood up straight and looked at me.
With a rabbit in her jaws.
She hadn't slipped; she was merely executing a tight turn. (Didn't know the old girl had it in her!)
The neighbors ("boys-in-the-'hood", cows) came running to see what all the commotion was about.
I'm not certain who was more surprised: me or the dog!
I yelled. Sedi ran in circles with the bunny in her mouth. Emma, chasing Sedi, wanted in on the fun.
Finally I convinced Sedi to drop the bunny. Too late, I'm afraid. The bunny got up, made a feeble attempt to hop, fell back down, kicked out her back legs and died. Both dogs immediately lost interest.
I wanted to cry.
Which is a very strange reaction since that same bunny has been plaguing my gardens all summer! First there was a huge hole in the middle of my iris bed. Then she dug up every sage seedling I planted for 2 months. The last appearance had her tunneling under my English thyme.
I should have been happy that my faithful dog had solved this problem for me.
I just felt sad that now the other little bunny would be alone. Sigh….
Mon mari wanted to know why we weren't having rabbit stew for dinner….
I'm not cut out for farm life….
Spaghetti Bolognese is the most innocuous, lackluster, boring dish that appears on more restaurant menus, worldwide, than any other.
It's a last resort choice.
"The kids are picky eaters; they'll have the Bolognese."
"Nothing looks good, I'll just have the Bolognese."
"My stomach's not right, just give me the Bolognese."
Usually, said Bolognese is a thick, tomato paste, kind of sauce; a big red glop on top of some noodles.
I'm not saying it's not good, satisfying, even tasty. I am saying it can be so much more.
A true, northern Italian Ragù Bolognese has layers of complex, complimentary flavors. It's not thrown together in a hurry; it's lovingly, meticulously created and simmered slowly to bring out the best of each ingredient.
It's a work of art.
After all the cheesy gooey, comforting food I have indulged in during the past few weeks I thought I should lighten it up a bit. Yes, pasta can be light; just leave off the heavy cream and cheese – and don't eat too much!
Hopefully, all the readers of Presto Pasta Nights, founded and hosted by the lovely Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, will agree with me. Oh, Ruth – I even made homemade spaghetti for this!
This is based on a recipe found in the Time Life "Foods of the World, Italian,' book.
4 oz Prosciutto (125 gr)
4 oz ground pork (125 gr)
16 oz ground beef (500gr)
1 large onion, about 1 cup chopped
1 medium carrot, about 1/3 cup chopped
2 stalks celery, about 2/3 cup chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 can diced or chopped tomatoes
4 tbs tomato paste or 1 small can
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
a pinch of nutmeg
Roughly chop the carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Then, very, very finely chop the vegetables. Do it in a food processor, or blender if you can, but stop before you make paste. Heat 1 tbs oil in nonstick skillet. Add the vegetables and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove and put into a large sauce pan. Finely chop the ham. Put the ham, pork and beef into the same skillet. Sauté until cooked through and brown, breaking it up as small as you can. Pour in the wine, turn the heat up and boil until most of the liquid has cooked off, stirring to get up any browned bits in the skillet. Add the meat and remaining liquid to the vegetables. Stir in the stock, tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the herbs and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stir well, cover partially, reduce heat and simmer for at least 40 minutes, 90 would be better, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate unused sauce for later or freeze for up to 4 months.
For a pasta sauce it's traditional to add cream or milk – I just add a bit of Greek yogurt or crème fraiche. For other uses (such as risotto) the dairy is left out. This makes enough for the Bolognese Risotto and/or Bolognese Lasagne with Spinach as well as the Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti, freshly home made is good
1 1/2 – 2 cups Ragù Bolognese
2 tbs cream or creme fraiche or milk, optional
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Cook pasta. Combine cream with sauce if using. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve, Parmesan on the side.
Be sure to stop by Once Upon A Feast,on Friday for all of the yummy recipes!
As to the bunny: R.I.P.
Don't forget to search your closet/pantry for skeletons. Remember, confession is good for the soul. It can be an actual recipe, or just the description of the, um, food or any food and holiday related debacle/story/mishap…. Really, any dirty little secret you feel like sharing! You have until Christmas to post – the round-up will be just before Dec. 31. The usual rules: post, link to me, send me an e-mail with permalink. Click for details!
Come on, tell! Share the pain…you'll feel better! And so will we!