Bolognese! Caprese! Molto Bene!

First things first, I need to say SORRY that I have been away from my blog for so long! With school and recent traveling, I haven’t been cooking much (just eating a TON). I am currently visiting my family in Minnesota, and last night my mother was craving pasta. Fortunately, pasta is my soul food, and honestly, my soul needs a little mending right now. So I decided to see if I could get some of my powers back. 

I started with a bolognese recipe from bonappetit.com, but honestly it was missing a lot, so I adapted the recipe in my own way. Bolognese is a hearty meat sauce with a full and rich flavor, enriched with red wine and plenty of aromatics such as onion, celery, and carrot. I also added mushrooms, and next time I think I will add some fennel root as well. Once the ground meats are browned (bolo typically has ground pork. beef, and veal, but I couldn’t find veal), tomato paste and beef stock (or broth) is added. I simmered that for an hour. It reduced really nicely. After that I added a cup of whole milk and let that simmer another 45 minutes. I also added some butter. Finally I seasoned it to my liking and added more tomato paste. 

As an appetizer I made a caprese salad. It was by far the best caprese salad I have ever made. I found the most gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. After you slice them, make sure to season them with salt! The mozzarella I found had the most perfect texture. I also made an aged balsamic reduction (just reduce 1/2c balsamic with 1T sugar and salt to taste). My mom had some big basil leaves growing in her garden that completed the dish. Just a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper and not five minutes later the plate was demolished.