Food Adventures

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This picture was taken on our balcony last Friday, after the first big winter storm of the year. If it seems a little blurry it's because I was in a hurry to take it since it was freezing outside. For those of you not living in Chicago, what you see is nothing compared to how it will be in January and February. You ask why some of us are crazy enough to live here? Well, I am not sure I have a good answer.

Now that it is really freezing, it seems only appropriate to make some winter foods. So, on Friday, I decided to try and recreate the Bolognese I had at Terragusto on Thursday night (see previous post). It might not be fair to call what I tried to do 'recreate' since I used a recipe from Mario Batali's cookbook, so I knew that the sauce was not going to turn out exactly like Chef Theo's. I was really surprised to see that Mario's sauce uses olive oil, instead of butter. I am pretty sure that real Bolognese is made with butter (and lots of it!), but I decide to trust Mario and try his recipe if for no other reason then because I'd be able to critique it. (My vegetarian friends can stop reading here because what follows will not make them very happy.) I used ground pork, ground veal, and ground beef and despite the fact that I used half the meat that Mario's recipe calls for and the full amount of liquids (wine, milk), after about an hour and 15 min, when the sauce was done, it was somewhat drier than I expected. I like dry sauces, but I can see how for someone who likes sauces a little saucier, this might not be enough. I didn't want to randomly start adding either wine or milk because I didn't want to change the flavor (for some reason, I thought that adding one or both the liquids at the end of the cooking might significantly change the flavor; I guess we'll never know now).

Of course, I couldn't serve the Bolognese with just about any pasta, so I made some fresh pasta, using my new rolling pin (it's serious rolling pin!). Now that I have a rolling pin that does half the work for me, I will be making pasta even more often that before. J

Everything tasted delicious although the sauce tasted nothing like the Terragusto one. You couldn't even have guessed that it was supposed to be the same sauce. I think the Terragusto sauce has more butter and milk (and it's certainly not as dry). Next time I make Bolognese, I will have to try a different recipe (or make up my own).


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