Sunday, March 3

Week night Supper: A simple, yet hearty Penne Bolognese shared with good friends

Monday's Supper
are great fun, easy & delicious
this week I am sharing with you
Penne Bolognese

I usually spend weekends at some point in the kitchen, then often save some of my dishes for our family to eat all week long.  This week was busy, busy and we travelled to Florida then back on Monday and my friend designer, Jonathan Legate was in town for a shopping visit with clients.  Of course I was tired, but goodness I had to have him and friends from blog, House of Brinson (Susan and William) over for dinner.  I knew I could rely on my bolognese recipe and whip up a batch of slow-cooking sauce for a stress-free dinner.  Shh, don't tell my hubby but I took this recipe from my ex boyfriend's Sicilian mother who taught me how to navigate around an Italian kitchen, and I will never forget it (good things do come from trysts with former flames).

  One thing I remember about those afternoons in her messy kitchen was the best Italian Bolognese is a cornucopia of a variety of meats, this increases the flavors and melds nicely together while slow cooking.  Cook on low, add some wine and toss with your favorite pasta and this is one easy dish that allows you to shine like an experienced chef. Many Italian cooks will use whatever meat they have in their refrigerator; hence a combination of veal, pork and beef together in some combination makes the best blending. 

Because I was not even fully unpacked from my trip, plus had a full-schedule that day I needed to prepare the dish in the morning then let it marinate and slowly stew while working from home.  One amazing aspect of living in New York City, is I have a great butcher on speed-dial and they deliver pronto.  In order to save on lots of dishes, I made this dish with one pan - a deep, large all-clad pot.   

pair a bolognese with a 
good bottle of red wine
a fresh baguette and butter
(my favorite for variety of bakeries is Dean & Deluca)
a tossed salad with a delicious caper vinaigrette
and quality box of dry pasta (I don't use fresh pasta for bolognese because dry holds up better to this thick sauce)
and you have an exquisite meal

 time saving tip for week day entertaining
 I utilize time when having guests in during the work week by
setting my table in the morning before I leave for the day.
I arrive home to a fully set table and half the work is done.
In this case I even made the sauce that morning, so all
I had to prepare was the salad, charcuterie plate
and pour the wine. 

 Tamara's Bolognese
2 large cans whole tomatoes
1/2 tube of tomato paste
3 thin slices of pancetta (chopped)
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 pork chops on the bone
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 lb ground beef
4 links of hot Italian sausage
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 shredded cheese
Salt, Pepper to taste
only if the sausage is not too spicy add a pinch of red pepper flake
1/4 beef broth

Let's get cooking 
In one large all-clad deep pot I saute onions in olive oil until translucent (about five minutes) then add garlic and pancetta cook on low for a couple more minutes. 
Add the sausage and brown. 
Discard the sausage and onions and set aside. 
In the same pan brown the ground meat and pork chops. 
Discard any grease from the ground beef, then put all the meats and onions
back in the pan. 
Open the two cans of whole tomatoes - with a pair of scissors cut the tomatoes into small parts while still in the can (do not do this in the blender as it purees the tomatoes and the chunks are good). 
Add the tomatoes, the paste, the red wine, beef broth, salt and pepper and simmer on low stirring often for 45 minutes. 
Do not let it stick or burn on the bottom.  
The last 5 minutes before serving add the cheese and shredded basil.
I often turn the sauce off, leave it at room temperature on the stove
until dinner, then add the basil and cheese just before serving. 

Boil the pasta - cook until slightly crunchy (el dente) then drain.
add the pasta and a small amount of the sauce to a shallow pan and stir for a couple of minutes on low stirring gently.  Serve in a large shallow bowl with a generous dollops of sauce on top and parmigiana cheese.
interior designer @jonathanlegate
and food photographer and blogger @houseofbrinson
sharing stories of food photography

I used these beautiful sprigs of cut orchids in the center
 and flanked by a pair of potted ferns in porcelain urns on my table centerpiece

the secret to my salad dressing is a
combination of
sherry vinaigrette
good olive oil
squeeze of lemon
fresh ground pepper 
fresh herbs de provence
a generous dose of capers

make the salad dressing up before in a glass jar and let it sit on the counter
to pour on room temperature just before serving
Happy Nesting XO

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