Thursday, August 30, 2012

The “best” Bolognese

Anytime someone tells me something is “world’s best”, “best ever” or “greatest that ever was” I’m immediately skeptical. First of all, it’s totally subjective. I mean, who is someone to tell me what’s the absolute best of something? And second of all, as someone who works in PR and marketing, calling something “the best” just means you’re not creative enough to come up with a better adjective. Super annoying.

So when my April 2011 issue of Better Homes & Gardens claimed that it had the recipe for the best-ever Bolognese sauce, I had my doubts. But, being the loyal BH&G reader I am, the fact that their recipes are usually pretty tasty, and that just about everything in the dish was already in my pantry or fridge, I gave it a shot.

It was awesome.

Hearty, flavorful and comforting, this recipe just makes me happy. Made with our farmer’s grass-fed, aged ground sirloin, it rivals any spaghetti I’ve tasted at restaurants in the U.S. And, though I could never fairly compare it to the pasta dishes I sampled when I traveled around Italy, it comes pretty close to being that good.

So, while I refuse to honestly say it’s the best Bolognese, it’s definitely the best version I’ve ever made and one of the best dishes in my repertoire. Best ever? You be the judge.

Spaghetti with Best-Ever Bolognese Sauce
Better Homes & Gardens, April 2011

1 lb. lean ground beef (aged, grass-fed is best)
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. half-and-half or milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. spaghetti
Grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese (optional)
Fresh oregano (optional)

In large skillet, brown ground beef, onion, carrot, and garlic until meat is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain off fat.

Add half-and-half. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 min. or until half-and-half is nearly evaporated. Stir in both, then vinegar. Return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 min. or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning, pepper, and salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 min. or until thickened.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti with 1 tbsp. salt added to water, according to package directions. Drain and serve spaghetti with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and oregano. Makes 8 servings.

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