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Monday, March 7, 2011

Italian Dinner Party

Pasta Bolognese
1/4 Cup EVOO
1 Medium onion, minced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Celery stalks, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 LB ground beef
1 TSP crushed red pepper
1/2 Cup dry red wine
1 Cup dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
28 OZ can San Marzano tomatoes, with liquid
1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
1 LB short pasta, such as pipe rigate
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

My mom always uses this bolognese recipe from Giada DeLaurentis, and it's now become one of my Italian go-to recipes. It's Perfect for entertaining, because not only does it feed a crowd, it's quick and easy too. You can build even more flavor with this versatile sauce by adding your own ingredients. I've added red wine and mushrooms to my sauce for more earthiness. Make some garlic crostini, toss-up a quick mixed green salad, open a couple of bottles of wine, and you have an instant party!

Rehydrate the mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When oil is almost smoking, add the onion and garlic. Saute for 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 4 minutes more. Add the beef, break up and large pieces. Cook until no longer pink (about 10 minutes). Stir in crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the brown bits at the bottom. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and basil. Simmer at medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until thickened. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. In the meantime, cook your pasta of choice until al dente. I chose pipe rigate, which is a shell-ziti hybrid. Serve with fresh grated cheese. Buon appetito!

1 comment:

  1. Good to know about this Italian dinner party. Couple of weeks ago, I attended a brunch party which was arranged by my friend at one of excellent San Francisco venues. He arranged a Mexican brunch and food there was fantastic. Venue was decorated with ethnic items.


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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.