Monday, March 18, 2013

Pasta Bolognese and remembering the first city I fell in love with...

Hello everyone, hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend! I'm not one to usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day, except for maybe cook corned beef, but I couldn't even find the time to make it this year. Today was my "Saturday", I'm always off on Mondays and have a chance to relax, shop, cook, and just hang with Liam. He wanted pasta for dinner and I haven't made this Bolognese recipe in some time, so I figured why not?!?!

I used to live in Chicago for many years, I spent pretty much my entire 20s in that beautiful city (something I would never change). So many memories from the The Windy City, I defiantly believe that Chicago shaped who I am today. People often ask me what I miss most from there and I instantly think of the food. I went to pastry school there and worked in many different restaurants and hotels, and had the privilege of working and learning from some of the best in the business. That's what I miss most, and some of the best damn Italian food a girl can ask for! 

This recipe reminds me of a place that I used to frequent often, and I often think of going back one day and enjoying a glass of Chianti on the patio and people watch. 

I miss you Chicago! Thank you for the great time, I'll be back again soon! And Go Cubs!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
Add beef and turn heat up to high and cook until no longer pink.
Drain fat.
Put back into pan and let cook another 5 minutes, now giving the beef some color.
Add red chili flakes and dried oregano, cook for 1 minute. 
Lower heat to medium, and add 1 cup of wine, scraping up brown bits.
Simmer on medium and prepare pasta.

Its important to salt boiling water, at least a handful! Your family and taste buds will thank you!

While pasta is cooking, finish sauce.

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese is the only way to go!

Can't wait to plant some basil this year!

Steps on how to chiffonade (shif-o-nad) basil...
Stack leaves, biggest on the bottom.
Roll it up like a cigar.
Slice with a very sharp knife.
And toss to loosen leaves.

Add basil, salt, pepper, Parmesan Cheese, Heavy Cream, and remaining wine and simmer until thick.
Toss cooked pasta with olive oil. 
Top with more grated cheese.
Serve with some crusty Italian Bread and a nice Barolo.

Pasta Bolognese

makes 6 servings

1 pound Lean Ground Chuck
1 small Onion, small dice
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 1/4 Cups Dry Red Wine
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for top
8-10 Fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 pound Fettuccine or Linguine 

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