|Dogs drying off by the fire yesterday|
So I remembered a meal I had at Trattoria Dell'Arte in midtown Manhattan. It's a cozy Italian place with a fine array of large Roman noses painted on the walls. They serve bolognese with creamy, steaming hot polenta. I decided that I had to recreate it.
This, I found, was surprisingly easy.
For the polenta, buy a sausage of it at Trader Joe's, chop it up into 1/2 inch dice and melt it slowly with a cup and bit of chicken stock in a pan, whisking now and then as you go, as it melts, the polenta disintegrates into the stock, and then you can add some nice freshly ground black pepper and some freshly grated Parmesan.
My quick bolognese recipe is below:
1 onion or a couple of shallots, chopped
A mushed garlic clove
A pound of fatty ground beef (20% fat)
or a mixture of pork and beef
A half cup of chopped pancetta
A few chopped mushrooms
A jar of good Arabiatta sauce
Salt & pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley
A slosh of red wine (whatever you have open)
Sweat the onions, shallots, garlic in the oil in a pan, add the pancetta and mushrooms, cook till translucent, add the meat and cook till just not pink. Toss in the jar of Arabiatta sauce (it's a bit more interesting than normal tomato sauce) and mix well, bringing the mixture to a nice slow simmer. Add a slosh of red wine, a little milk (somehow the milk makes it deliciously creamy and there is a very legitimate recipe for authentic bolognese which utilizes full fat milk as it brings out the flavors in the meat) and let it simmer on a low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over the creamy polenta and sprinkle with parsley. Eat by the fire with a glass of good Italian red.