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Spaghetti Bolognese and True Confessions

Spaghetti Bolognese or Ragu
I have a confession to make. Yeah, I know everyone loves confessions. It must be our deep dark interiors that make us want those Oprah, Barbara Walters moments. Don’t get your hopes up. It is not that juicy. OK, already. It’s this simple. I’m not very good at taking care of myself. I’m a mother. Some mothers put everyone else’s needs first. I’m that kind of mother. In fact our PTO meetings could have been divided between those who couldn’t wait for their kids to leave and those who were dreading the day. Yes, I wanted them to spread their wings. Just not so far. (But I’m happy for them!)
And now, well, in these last few years, not only have they left home but my husband has done his fair share of traveling. And guess where I am? Yeah, I’m home catching rabbits and really all I’ve caught is a squirrel. (HE WAS NOT HAPPY.) And neither was I. Plus he ate all the apples and the rabbits are still munching on my hyacinths.
But let’s wander back. I’m not good at taking care of myself. I do put on dark under eye concealer every morning along with a touch of mascara and lip gloss, but let’s face it. Who’s going to see me? The dogs don’t care what I look like. I do make the bed. And I do this because? Well, old habits die hard. But what I’m really bad about is cooking for myself. I hate eating alone. The TV broke in the kitchen so I don’t even have that for company. (It’s pathetic, I know.) OK, a few nights-no big deal-but my husband is gone for weeks and weeks. And then he always tells me about all these wonderful meals he’s had. Well, I admit, I do want to know. Not cooking for yourself is not a good thing. When I think of all the single households out there it makes me realize that a movement should be started. Maybe we could all cook for each other. (I guess that’s the mother in me!)
I’m not the fast food type. Not even the healthy fast food type. Except you could take me for a noodle bowl, a banh mi, or dumplings anytime. But I have to drive a bit far for that. Yeah, it’s a bummer. Especially now that I’ve started this food blog. What’s a girl to do? This could be a good thing for me. It might mean I’ll have to start taking care of myself. Which yeah, I know the mantra, by taking care of yourself it means you really care about everyone else in your life because if you aren’t in good shape, where would they be? Well, I could tell you but I won’t. OK. I will try to do better. I promise. After all, I’m kind of liking this blogging thing. I mean in 25 more years my grandkids could be reading this stuff. But that’s a long time away and no significant others are even in sight. So, I guess I better just start with today.
Which leads me to this Pasta Bolognese that I made on a cold day in winter. It was good. And frankly would taste good today too, if I just got around to making it!
P.S. 25 years? I could be writing for 25 years? I just hope photography doesn’t take me that long to figure out.

Bolognese Meat Sauce  

1c chopped onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
3T butter
1 stalk chopped celery
1/4c chopped carrot
1 1/4lbs ground turkey  (Yes, you could use beef)
12oz Italian sausage (chicken or pork; preferably bulk, not links)
1c dry white wine
1 1/4c milk
1/8t freshly grated nutmeg
½ can tomato sauce
2 14oz cans chopped Italian tomatoes with their juice
Bay leaf, red pepper flakes, black pepper
Put onions, oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. When almost translucent, add garlic. Add carrot and celery and cook for two minutes.
Add turkey and sausage crumbling it with a fork. Add 1t salt and cook until the meat has lost its raw, red color. DO NOT LET IT BROWN. Add wine and turn up heat to medium high and cook until the wine has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
Turn heat back to medium and add milk and freshly grated nutmeg. And rest of seasonings. I like my sauce on the spicy side so I add a good amount  of black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir a lot.
When milk has evaporated, add tomatoes and sauce. Stir well. When tomtoes start to bubble, turn heat to low. This should simmer with just an occasional bubble for 3-4 hours. Stir here and there. Correct for salt.
Cook your spaghetti al dente and serve.
 Invite your single friends over. They Will ask to come back. Additionally, I am told that you can only make  true bolognese in Bologna. My schedule is open.

Cathy Trochelman

Saturday 22nd of March 2014

I still have little ones at home and can't stand it when my hubby calls from his work trips to tell me about the amazing meals he's enjoying! I'm not a fan of cooking just for myself, or even just for myself and the kids!

Kitchen Riffs

Monday 2nd of April 2012

It's so odd because I love pasta, but I almost never make a bolognese sauce! All sorts of other red sauces, yes. But almost never this particular one. And I do like it. Anyway, your version looks superb, but I'm with you - if you have to be in Bologna to make it for real, my passport is up-to-date! And recipes like this are great because you always make a lot, so you have a lot to freeze - just freeze them in individual size containers. That way you can pull out just 1 container for yourself, or 2 (or more) when it's 2 or more for dinner. Nice post - thanks.


Monday 2nd of April 2012

This is really a meat sauce with tomatoes thrown in. The focus is meat and of course cooking with milk. It does make a difference. I add the 1/2 can of sauce because I like it. And yes, this was adapted from a recipe by Marcella but I thought she might gasp if she saw I used turkey! And yes I am ready for Italy, but is Italy ready for me? Thanks for reading!