Monday I blogged about the pasta that Chef Kristian Wade made at a recent Lunch N Learn at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. Today’s topic is the Bolognese sauce he made. This is the classic meat-based Italian tomato sauce.
-- A good Bolognese always starts with a vegetable base of yellow onions, carrots, and celery, the Italian mixture known as soffritto. It can be seasoned with pepper, red pepper flakes and, at the end, with fresh herbs. Soffritto can be simmered for as long as you like. You can overdo it, of course, but if you do the television-chef thing of dancing it around in a pan for a minute or two, you will never develop the rich flavors that a long-cooked soffritto can have.
-- The tomatoes you use should be the best you can afford. Sorry to say, the best are Italian imports. Of course, if you make your own with locally grown heirloom tomatoes, that would be even better.
-- The opposite is true after you add the meat to the sauce, usual a combination of fatty pork and beef. If you cook the meats for more than an hour or so , it becomes mealy. So, sauté the soffritto for 30 minutes or so, add the meat and cook only for an additional hour.
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-- Finally, the last sweet kiss you should give your Bolognese, is a ample helping of butter. This is not diet food, remember, but it is hearty, delightful.