Sauce of the Day

8 03 2008

I have management, of course.  a staff dance, 5th December 1922There is the Count and there is Contessa.  I am walked regularly and entertained with an orange ball (in summer it is a real chilled orange!).  I have standing appointment with a very attractive bleach-blonde named Chiara, who suds me up and down, rubs me briskly, rinses me thoroughly, then fluffs me with a 600-watt dryer.Jack

But none of these is as satisfying as my cook.  And life on Fridays is very fine.

Grazia comes five days a week (Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons we dine out.)

Friday is Bolognese night.  I sit under the kitchen table and watch her conjure the secret sauce. 

low heat

In one pan, Grazia sautes ground beef until it is well-cooked and brown.  This smells like what must be heaven. 

Then she chops one large carrot and 2 stalks of celery and 1/2 an onion and 5 cloves of peeled garlic, fine.  She sautes this in a separate pan in 1/3 cup olive oil until it is all translucent.  Even the vegetables smell like ambrosia…must be the garlic. 

Grazia adds this to the meat, then stirs in 1/3 bottle of Chianti, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (yes, I know it’s French.  That’s the secret: Grazia’s grandmother was from the wrong side of the border…), and 3 cups of the simple tomato sauce she canned last summer.  

stir every ten minutes 

It stays on a low flame atop the stove until she adds 1 cup of fresh chopped basil and it’s ready.

All mixed up...

From here you can use your imagination in pairing the pasta: penne is good, but I find it often sticks in the throat of small dogs.  A good egg fettucine is my pick, but that’s just me.  And grilled polenta is always a good underpinning to any sauce, as well.

Polenta

Life on Fridays is fine, indeed.

Pasta Bolognese

Chow.

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