We generally try to go with meatless dinners on Monday nights, but yesterday brought nearly a foot of snow to our part of little Rhody, so we knew from the start it was going to be a different kind of day. I attempted to head downtown to the train station and from there up to Boston in the morning, but I didn’t make it far before turning around and heading back home again. It was a snow day, for us and for many others, a day for hunkering down indoors, making bacon and eggs for breakfast, having a beer with lunch, and for taking on a little project cooking.
I’ve made fresh pasta and Bolognese sauce more times than I can count, but after stumbling across an episode of Tyler’s Ultimate yesterday afternoon, I decided to mix my usual method up a bit. I didn’t follow his recipe exactly (surprise, surprise), but I did incorporate a couple of his ideas, frying stems of fresh herbs in olive oil to infuse it with their flavor; and grinding onions, carrots, garlic and reconstituted dried porcini in the food processor to make a flavorful base for the sauce.
I used my usual combination of two parts ground beef (grass-fed, from Aquidneck Farm) to one part ground pork (the last of our stash from Bobolink), as well as a cup each of white wine and whole milk, and a big can of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand, along with their juice. I added a little dried marjoram as well, and salted a little at a time, tasting and tweaking as the sauce cooked.
The pot perked away at a low bubble for a few hours, filling the house with a wonderful aroma, made better by the addition of the herbs and porcini. The resulting sauce was some of my best ever, with a fine-grained, delicate texture and rich flavor. A dollop of fresh ricotta added at the end sent it over the top.