Our dear friend Physioprof has been cooking up a storm lately, and the resulting displays of culinary prowess have been both impressive and--I'll just go ahead and say it--inspirational.
Last night I decided to try his recipe for Fusilli Bolognese, which it's my understanding is Italian for "curly pasta with meat sauce." I was too lazy to go to the store to do everything exactly as PP described, so the following is my adaptation using what I already had in the house.
Here's our starting ingredients still life:
You may notice a couple of differences here. PP uses San Marzano tomatoes, which are considered by some to be the best canned tomatoes out there. But they're like 3 times as expensive as pretty much every other brand, so I just used my plebian canned tomatoes from the pantry. Additionally, while PP prefers ground
baby cows veal*, I used ground beef, because again that's what I already had. Finally, while PP's calls for a full-bodied white wine, I used a Tempranillo--it was either that or a bottle of rosé someone brought to a party in like 2007.
I cooked up the mirepoix just like PP advised, adding the garlic at the end, followed by the meat. When the meat was cooked I added the wine, which made the meat kind of purple-colored, but I figured whatevs.
Then I noticed two things: 1) the meat was releasing a lot of grease, which maybe is because grown cows are fattier than baby ones? I consulted J as to whether I should strain out the grease and he was totes like "leave it in," so I did; 2) There was still A LOT of wine left in the bottle! I poured myself a glass to enjoy as I continued to prepare the feast.
After the wine reduced down, PP's next step was to add some whole milk. Now, I didn't have any whole milk, but I did have skim milk and heavy cream, which I feel like together is basically whole milk. In they went! Once that had reduced, I added my dollar-store crushed tomatoes, sprinkled in a little crushed red pepper flakes, and set the burner to low.
Then came the worst part--simmering for THREE HOURS! My apartment smelled so good I thought I would die, so I kept myself busy by roasting some asparagus and making a nice caesar salad from scratch.
Fun fact: as you probably know, traditional Caesar dressing is made with a raw egg yolk, and I am here to tell you that you need not be afraid! I learned from an intermediate bartending class at Astor Center that salmonella lives on the outside of the shell, and since almost any egg you buy in a supermarket has been washed (plus the fact that there is minimal contact between the egg inside and its outer shell), your chances of getting salmonella from eating a raw egg are something like 1 in 10,000. If you really want salmonella, your best bet is to go to a farm, take an egg right from a chicken, and lick the outside.
When the sauce was about half an hour out, I boiled some water and cooked my fusilli. From here on I followed PP's directions to a T, because I am not one to question when someone tells me to put butter and cheese on my food. I plated it up with the asparagus, poured another glass of wine, and ate that shitte.
*Only jk about being judgy here. I freaking love veal, just don't keep it in the house, as they say.