September 20, 2011

Tagliatelle Bolognese, the Perfect Start to Fall

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It's fall in New York which means it's time for jackets, sweaters, and long cooked foods. Our trip to the farmer's market this week should provide us with beginning of fall specialties like ingredients for hearty soups and slow cooking squashes and meats.

This is our favorite time of the year - not too hot, not too cold, the wonderful smell of crisp fall air, and of course, a good excuse to stay in enjoying one another's company and cooking over the stove and oven. We'll move away from pestos and quick vegetable infused pastas to baked dishes and long simmering meals, like this delicious tagliatelle bolognese.

Herbie is excited that there will be more meat now that fall is here

There's a lot of different ways to cook bolognese, but this method is quite basic, combining the most common elements of all the various recipes we've experimented into one traditional bolognese that yields an extremely satisfying result. Fresh tagliatelle is a pasta destined for this sauce. It holds up well to the thickness of the sauce while still being flexible and easy to eat. This fall, let this be your go to bolognese recipe.

Making the Dish
As always, start off by chopping up all your vegetables.

Diced carrot, celery, and onion
You'll want to make a small dice of the onion, celery, and carrot, so that they can soften quickly and dissolve into the finished sauce as they cook. We also like to throw in a few cloves of minced garlic to give the sauce some kick.

Sautéing the carrot, celery, and onions

In a large pot, sauté the vegetables in olive oil and a touch of butter until they are very soft, probably 10 - 15 minutes. Once they are ready, add in your ground beef and ground veal. You can add pork as well and reduce the amount of beef and veal, but this provides a rich meaty flavor.

Browning the meat with the sautéed veggies

Stir together and cook, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper, until the meat begins to brown. Then, add in red wine to deglaze the pan, stirring everything together and bringing the wine to a boil.

Adding the red wine to deglaze the pan
When the wine is reduced by about half, add in the chicken broth and the tomato paste, stir to combine, and then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Adding in the chicken broth and tomato paste to make the beginnings of the bolognese

During this long cooking time, the flavors will combine and the vegetables will dissolve into the bolognese, blending everything together nicely.

Pepper, intrigued by the delicious smell of simmering bolognese
Once the initial simmer is complete, add in your whole milk, bring the bolognese back to a soft boil, then simmer with the pot half covered for another 20 - 30 minutes until the bolognese thickens up a bit.

Adding milk to the bolognese provides the delicious creaminess

The fresh tagliatelle only takes a few minutes to cook, so you can wait until the bolognese has nearly finished until starting the water.

Simmering bolognese looks delicious. 

Bring it to a boil with a touch of salt and then drop in the tagliatelle. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes and then remove from the water into a skillet. Top with the bolognese and some reserved pasta water, and toss over medium heat to combine and finish the cooking of the pasta.

Bolognese tossed with fresh tagliatelle

Serve garnished with grated pecorino romano and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

The Result
There's something about long cooked tagliatelle bolognese that is simple, comforting and satisfying, yet at the same time complex, indulgent and luxurious. The blending of flavors and the hearty texture, make bolognese one of our favorite fall and winter dishes - one we likely make all too often.

What's the first dish you cook for the fall? Let us know in the comments. And don't forget to follow our blog, subscribe, or add us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest posts!

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Tagliatelle Bolognese

Written by:

A delicious, satisfying, ragu bolognese

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

(Serves: 2 - 4)

1/2 lb fresh tagliatelle
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
6 oz ground beef
6 oz ground veal
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken broth
3 - 4 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
grated pecorino romano


  1. Still wondering how do you make photos of your cats soooooo beautifull!! just love cats.... rrr-rrr-rrr

  2. Hehe - they're just beautiful cats! Makes the photography very easy :)

  3. Definitely make chili, first sign of fall. Thanks for another great recipe, I'm trying it tonight! :)

  4. Ma non è che quei gatti sono un messaggio subliminale e vuoi fa' la fine di Bigazzi?

  5. Mmm chili - great idea! I've got a hankering for some nice white bean chili now...


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