"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Monday, 29 March 2010

making bolognaise sauce

it is raining here in Woodford. what I wanted to do today, didn't happen because of the rain [I wanted to weed paths and mulch 'Sophie's Walk' garden]... but I did clean my bathrooms today, in readiness for our official open house on Wednesday night.

today the magpie with the broken foot, visited my bird bath for a drink. I ducked outside and opened the gates to my vegie garden so he could have the pickings of the last of the summer vegies and whatever else treat he might find in there.. the little finches flitted in and out of the branches of the apple tree, eating bugs... the choughs moved my soul with the call [does it every time].. and I wondered what to blog about...

[dutch husband is the cheese grater in our family. my grater is about 25yrs old and I always buy organic parmesan cheese from the co-op]

how do you make your bolognaise sauce?
you see, when I was two, we lived next door to an italian family and even at that young age, I loved Regina's spaghetti sauce, I have never tasted as good since and have never been able to capture the essence of her sauce..
so I make my own..

one onion chopped very finely, saute in olive oil with two [or more] cloves of crushed garlic ~ stir with a spoon and lots of love... when the onion is transparent.. begin to add spoonfuls of organic minced, australian beef.. about 1/2 kilo in all.. mashing with the spoon to break up any lumps.. cook on medium heat.. adding pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.. once the meat is browned, add an organic beef stock cube, a dash of red wine and cook for a minute or two.. then add chosen pasta sauce [i use organic basil & garlic tomato pasta sauce].. simmer for about 20mins to reduce the sauce down.. adding a handful of torn basil leaves towards the end of cooking time.
serve with chosen pasta and lashings of freshly grated parmesan cheese...
do you have a favourite spaghetti sauce?


mxtodis123 said...

I love the thought of you opening your garden for the poor little birdie. Theirs is such a tough life, yet they are forever singing with joy. I know of a few people who could learn a lesson from our feathered friends.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

My process is quite similar to yours. I like to use a spicy organic tomato pasta sauce we buy here called "El Diavolo" -- I think that means The Devil! It kicks the spaghetti sauce up a notch.

amelia said...

I do and it's similar to yours but lots more garlic (two heads) and absolutely no meat!!! Cayenne pepper and hot pepper flakes. Lot's of red wine, all the good stuff but it doesn't last long. All my kids want it so I make lots to freeze and take it when I visit!

What is a chough????

Imogen said...

Probably pesto - home-made if I have the time and the basil, otherwise from Giuliano's in Richmond upon Thames. Served on spaghettini, with extra parmesan and pine nuts on top.
I think I may have just decided on my supper for tonight!

Diva Kreszl said...

so what time is dinner...I don't want to be late!

Janet said...

My husband would love you! Spaghetti is his all-time favorite meal.

You're such a sweetie to open the gate for the injured bird and let it enjoy your garden. That made me smile.

Fire Byrd said...

Same start to the receipe, but instead of pasta sauce I add a tin of tomatoes then add, a dash of brandy, pinch of salt, thymne ,oregano,loads of black pepper, english mustard powder and some gravy granules rather than a stock cube.
You are a kind byrd lady opening the gate for your feathered friend.
The bird song never fails to cheer me up.
And this evening I saw a young song thrush pecking in the leaf mulch for a juicy titbit, and a robin having a bath in a small puddle. Made my bad mood disappear.

Pam said...

Same as your recipe Robyn, but have never used nutmeg, and freshly grated too! That's interesting!I'm curious now. I am emailing you a variation of bolgnaise called "Sharon's Fettucine Sauce", with bay leaves, basil and zuchinni included in the recipe. I have no idea who Sharon is, and probably neither did the publisher of the cookbook I copied it from. Makes a change from spaghetti occasionally,and is very popular in our family.Whether it's fettuccine or spaghetti, I love either, with crusty buttered rolls and a good glass of red...oh and thank you for such a lovely comment on my last posting - made my day, 'specially after another tooth crumbled!

Imogen said...

In re the nutmeg - that reminded me of my mother's Moussaka recipe which has 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in it; a tiny touch, but it adds a delicious yet delicate extra dimension to the tomato and aubergine flavours... Collecting and using all these little tricks is one of the joys of cooking!

Anonymous said...

Dinner sounds good.
Truth be told I don't like to cook, but I love baking.
If it were up to me we would be eating salads every night. That doesn't sit well with my meat and potatoes husband. I do like spaghetti though (no meat) with lots of herbs in the sauce. My herb garden is overflowing right now with basil, oregano and Italian parsley. Mmmm, maybe we will have pasta tonight!

Serena said...

opening the veggie garden gate for the magpie shows you are a woman after my own heart, robyn. a lovely and heartfelt gesture.

as i'm vegetarian, i make my own sauce too using fresh onions and garlic, both sautéed...then i add sliced button mushrooms...then fresh tomatoes, diced...then a little water and i simmer it all down to a lovely thick sauce. i also add some dried Italian herbs, Vegeta vegetable stock powder and a little water which evaporates off during the simmer process to form the delicious, thick sauce. I love this over spaghetti with or without grated cheese.

Serena said...

OH, I meant to add that I also add cayenne pepper 'cos I love HOT food ~ :)

linda may said...

G'Day Robyn, Thought i would add my 2 bobs worth here. My sketti sauce is ditto to yours with the Onion, garlic and mince but then I add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of tomato soup concentrate then a teaspoon or 2 of brown sugar.Some rosemary and what ever other herb I have straight from the garden, like basil,coriander,parsley,oregano.Some times a stock cube, a bit of chilli, fresh ground black pepper.I have put nutmeg in mine too.