Snowmageddon Bolognese

Indefinitely, CT is going to get rocked tomorrow with our first massive snow storm this year. I actually love the big storms but I’d be way more pumped if my husband didn’t remind me first thing this morning that I’ll have to learn how to set up the generator – just in case the power goes out. I sure wish we had gone through with getting it hard wired, maybe in the next house?! Keiko and I will plan to hold down the fort since he more than likely will be held over at the end of his shift… and by that I mean I will drink (a lot of) wine and snuggle her until he gets in the door. Cheers to hoping and praying I don’t have to battle with the stinking generator!

With our house currently on the market, we’re exploring a few avenues for the next one. Tonight we meet with a “green” builder after attending one of their seminar’s last weekend. We both walked away from it incredibly impressed and confident in the kind of work that they do. With that said, they absolutely got our attention.

Having no idea how long these types of things take,  I figured I probably wouldn’t have time to put dinner together for us after. I’m not a fast food type of girl – unless you count Five Guys, in which case I totally am that type of girl, but we just had it last week so…

So I made a pork bolognese in preparation, using some of the ground meat from the locally raised pig I brought home Friday!

Now I know a traditional bolognese is made with very specific ingredients (beef for one) and there are people out there who will fight over the topic, regardless this dish is downright knock-your-socks-off GOOD. I’ve been making Giada’s Bolognese recipe for years, sworn by it and loved it as a house favorite so I used hers as the bones for my take on it here.

Check this out:

The stuff
The stuff

Sidenote: Crossing my fingers for an abundance of space and light in my next kitchen, I really don’t want to bring in artificial lighting but I will if I have to. Until then, bear with me please – It’s a challenge when I photograph at night.

What you need:

One sweet onion – dice it

3 cloves of garlic – smashed, trimmed, center folds removed

Remember these - remove the little jerks.
Remember these – remove the little jerks.

(1) 1/4″ slice of pancetta – cubed

2 organic carrots – peeled, rinsed, and grated or diced fine

1.5 sticks of celery – diced

Now a fan of grating my carrot
Now a fan of grating my carrot

1 large can of san marzano diced tomatoes

1 large can of san marzano pureed tomatoes

2 heaping tablespoons of organic tomato paste – it really makes a difference that it’s organic (flavor-wise)

1 cup of dry white wine

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

2 tsp sea salt

Fresh cracked pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

A few individual sprigs of thyme or one big combined

1 bay leaf

1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley – chopped fine (a heaping 1/4 cups worth)

1 parmesan rind – my grocery store sells these by the bag which is handy!

1 lb of lean ground pork

1 package of lean ground turkey

I like to use a wide and deep pan with a lid, it allows me to soften the vegetables faster and spread out the meat. Whatever you choose, preheat it to Medium with EVOO.

Good luck not plucking a few pieces from the pan.
Good luck not plucking a few pieces from the pan.

 Brown the pancetta on both sides, ignore the ugly overhead oven light reflection por favore.

Add the onions and smashed garlic (!):

It's about to get fragrant my friends.
It’s about to get fragrant my friends.

Let these soften, stir occasionally.


Until they look like this. Then add your carrot and celery:

Starting to get colorful :)
Starting to get colorful 🙂

and let these soften too – just a few minutes depending on how you did your carrots and what size pan you chose.

Turn the heat up to medium high and add your meat –

Break it up with a wooden spoon as it browns
Break it up with a wooden spoon as it browns

Once it is browned on all sides, add your tomato paste and coat the meat.

continue to break the meat up to a nice texture.
continue to break the meat up to a nice texture.

Add your wine and reduce by 3/4’s, sorry no picture.

Finally, add your tomatoes, herbs, spice, and parmesan rind to the pan and let simmer for an hour or until thick.

The secret ingredient - trust me.
The secret ingredient – trust me.


Think it's thick enough?!
Think it’s thick enough?!

I chose to serve over creamy polenta but you can opt for tagliatelle or your favorite spaghetti. Top with freshly grated pecorino or whatever salty hard cheese you have on hand.


Pork Bolognese for your face - wowza!
Pork Bolognese for your face – wowza!

 Personally, I buy Bob’s Red Mill brand Polenta and follow the directions on the back adding 1 cup of whole milk (or half & half or cream) when it’s done. The trick is to measure out your polenta into a bowl and gently shake very small increments into the boiling water while quickly whisking away. This takes a couple of minutes but that is the way it has to be done – sorry. Lower your heat and let it gently finish cooking, stir with a wooden spoon every few minutes to keep it smooth. Polenta hates to be rushed so make this while the sauce simmers.

If you’re looking for something to make ahead in preparation of the white death headed our way, give this one a go around and let me know what you think!

 Stay cozy guys!