Friday, October 31, 2014

Fusilli Bolognese with Beef, Pork, Veal & Sausage

A beloved part of Italian cooking, every family has their own favourite bolognese recipe, known as Ragù alla Bolognese, a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna. 
Typically served with tagliatelle, spaghetti or pappardelle, bolognese pairs well with any pasta that's designed for capturing and holding onto sauce, such as one of the south's favourite sons — Fusilli — the crazy corkscrew-shaped pasta that originated in the regions of Molise and Basilicata in Southern Italy. Originally developed by rolling fresh spaghetti around a thin rod and letting it dry, fusilli gets its name by the 'fuso', meaning 'little spindles' in Italy, the knitting tool used to roll up the wool. Its spiral shape and thick coils are ideal at capturing every type of sauce, making it the perfect yet unexpected partner for this robust and 'delizioso' bolognese — the perfect marriage of north and south. Magnifique!

Fusilli Bolognese with Beef, Pork, Veal & Sausage
Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground veal
3 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 28 oz cans whole Italian San Marzano plum tomatoes
8 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved or chipped
1 lb fusilli, cooked al dente
1 bunch fresh basil or pea sprouts for garnish

In a large pot, cook the ground beef, pork, veal and and crumbled sausage with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking, about 20-30 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and discard.

While meat is cooking, combine the finely chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a small bowl. Once the meat is done, add in the vegetables, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the tomato paste and wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, including the juice from the can, and crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

About 30 minutes before the sauce is done, put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add 2 heaping tablespoons of salt and add the dried pasta. Stir gently and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta in a large colander. To serve, divide the pasta between 6 warmed dinner bowls and top with generous spoonfuls of sauce. Using a cheese knife, break off small chips of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle over each bowl, then garnish with fresh basil or pea shoots — serve immediately.