Friday, February 17, 2012

Betty Bossi's Bolognese

Betty Bossi, the Swiss goddess of food (though she's not actually a real person), calls this recipe "Super-Sugo". It's pretty super, so I guess I have to agree with this silly name for an old school recipe (the cookbook was printed in 1981). The recipe comes from my mom's collection of 70s and 80s Betty Bossi cookbooks. Over time she has made some changes to it to suit our family's taste buds. She exchanges the 1980s addition of mortadella for mushrooms, adds fresh herbs, and throws in some extra garlic. With those changes, there's nothing left to do but get cooking.

Bolognese is one of those comfort foods that almost every meat eater loves. It's a great cold weather meal that has never let me down. The longer you cook your sauce, the more flavorful it will be, so don't try to simmer it for less than an hour. I always sneak a taste here and there since I can be extremely impatient when it comes to waiting for food, but this is worth the wait, especially with a spinkling of Parmesan cheese on top.

Adapted from Betty Bossi's 100 WunderRezepte
Serves 6

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon oil (anything mild will do)
2 small to medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can (6 oz or 170 grams) tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 can (14.5 oz or 410 grams) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound (200 grams) cremini mushroomed, sliced
grated Parmesan, to garnish (optional)

In a lare saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Stir in the onions, garlic, and tomato paste, then pour in the wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Mix in the can of diced tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, sugar, water, and mushrooms. Mix everything together. Cover and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour.

Serve over spagetti with some grated Parmesan cheese.

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