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Cooking at Home with Dining in DC

About two weeks ago I was watching Rachael Ray on TV and I saw her prepare a recipe called Bolognese with Pappardelle. I was inspired – so I printed off the recipe and made a list of everything that I needed.

Here is Rachael Ray’s Bolognese with Pappardelle recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 pound ground pancetta, cut small dice or ground pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into small dice
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, removed from stem and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon (a pinch or two) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Crispy Pancetta

Crispy Pancetta

In a large pot, heat EVOO over medium-high heat, then add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve. (I did not use paper towels to collect the grease as you would for normal bacon. Also it doesn’t say to drain the fat so I didn’t.)

Add the sirloin and pork to the pot the pancetta was cooked in and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, 4-5 minutes. (It doesn’t say to drain the fat so I didn’t.)

Added spices to meat mixture

Added spices to meat mixture

Add salt, pepper, allspice, bay leaves and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook 3-4 minutes to caramelize. Add in the red wine and scrape up all the tasty nibbles that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (I did not cover the pot and I set the timer for 2 hours.)

Add the heavy cream, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. (Don’t forget the red pepper flakes, I did!) Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

While the sauce is simmering away, bring a large pot of seasoned water up to a boil. Drop the pappardelle pasta (I used

sauce after adding wine and stock

sauce after adding wine and stock

 egg noodles instead)  into the boiling water and cook to al dente, according to package instructions. (I cooked my egg noddles for 9 minutes according to the package directions.) Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Once the pasta is done, reserve about a cup of pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and toss it back into the pot it was cooked in along with some of the reserved water and a cup of cheese. Add the amount of pasta sauce for the number of servings that are needed for your meal, reserving enough to top, and toss well to coat. (Let the cheese and pasta “set” for a few minutes, it’s less runny that way). If you plan to use the rest of the sauce at a later time, do not add all of it to the cheese and noodles now.

Bolognese with Egg Noodles

Bolognese with Egg Noodles

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls, topped with additional sauce. Pass the remaining cheese at the table. The dish turned out very well. I think it’s a great sauce but I don’t think that it was worth 3 hours of my time. Also I bet the fat content and calories are off the charts! This is best for an ocassional splurge.


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