Tuesday, July 17, 2012

.tagliatelle w/ bolognese.

I bought a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid last year and have only used it a couple of times... to roll out pieces of fondant.  No pasta.  Something about making homemade pasta scared me.  I don't know what it is.  It was this irrational fear that it wasn't going to turn out.

Well, I decided to give it a try.  I read a lot about pasta making online, checked out YouTube videos and I felt confident that I could do it!

Tagliatelle is one of the traditional pastas to use with bolognese sauce.  It's a lot like fettuccine but not as thick.

For the pasta, I used:

1 cup flour
1 cup semolina flour (If your store carries Bob's Red Mill brand, you can find it there)
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil
Cold water

Mix together the flours and salt.  You can either mix in a bowl or on your counter.  I used my counter.  Make a deep well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil.  Using your fingers of one  hand, start mixing things together, being careful not to knock down the walls of your dam.  Use your other hand to keep the dam intact.

Add Tablespoons of cold water as needed until you have a nice, slightly dry dough.  Keep working the dough until you have collected and incorporated all of the dry ingredients.  Add more water as needed.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes.  This helps relax the gluten.  Cut the ball of dough into four pieces.  Flatted out slightly like a pancake and round edges.  Wrap each piece well with Saran wrap and let rest for 30-45 minutes.  This will help relax the dough so it can stretch well.

To learn how to use your pasta maker and roll out the pasta, check out this great YouTube clip.

Make sure you roll your dough to the #6 setting and then run through your fettucine cutter.  Make sure you dust your cut pasta with a little flour to keep it all from sticking together. 

Now bolognese.  This needs to be made well in advance.  In fact, make it the day before you plan on having it for dinner because it gives those flavors a lot of time to marry together, forming a wonderful sauce.  Here's my recipe for bolognese ------

1 lb ground beef or sirloin
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb medium thick sliced pancetta, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
3-4 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
Rind off of your parmesan wedge
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup cream
Fresh herbs (oregano, basil, bay leaf, Italian parsley)

Heat some oil in a large sauce pot or dutch oven.  Put in the pancetta, sirloin, and pork and start browning.  When the meat is halfway browned, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and bay leaf.  Mix around and let those aromatics cook with the meat.  When the meat is completely cooked, add your sugar, tomato sauce, paste, diced tomatoes, and red wine.  Add more wine if you need to.  Tie your fresh herbs into a bouquet garni and drop into the pot.  We'll fish these out later.  Also drop in the rind cut off your parmesan wedge.  This will add a lot of flavor to your bolognese. 

Lightly season with salt and pepper.  Don't go crazy with the salt right now, because as the sauce cooks, that rind is going to add a lot of salty flavor and you don't want to wind up with something too salty.

Stir in the cream and cover with a lid.  Pop in a 300 degree oven and let it cook for about 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the oven and either serve, or let it cool so you can put it in the fridge.  Like I said earlier, this is best if it can sit in the fridge overnight.  The next day, remove the parmesan rind and bouquet garni.  Taste and reseason with salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve hot.

You don't have to be of Italian heritage to make an amazing pasta dish with authentic bolognese!  Enjoy!

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