Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friends are the best medicine

After welcoming my third child into the world in August, my wonderful friends delivered the most amazing gift imaginable-daily home-cooked meals for four that were as delicious as they were heartfelt, appreciated, and devoured with nursing hunger gusto.  While I thought I had everything under control, I had no idea just how hard it was to get a meal on the table while caring for a newborn baby.  I guess that's why the saying goes, "friends are the best medicine." This is especially true after a c-section!

After recreating my friend Emily's Spaghetti Bolognese two months later, I realized how much love and time she put into her meal and I don't even have words to tell you how much I appreciate it.  This sauce is the real deal.  She uses a mix of veal/beef/pork (which you can substitute if you don't like one of the meats) and layers it with carrots, onion, and celery and finishes it off with whole milk (I used 2%), white wine (which is the ticket) and crushed tomatoes.  While the sauce takes about 3-6 hours to cook (6 hours if you double the recipe like yours truly), it's worth every minute of your precious time.  She delivered it with fresh pasta from Eataly (damn she's good), homemade caesar salad and a blackberry crisp.  It was a meal to remember and I'll be making it forever while thinking of her generosity and love. Thanks Em!

This is also the perfect dish for entertaining guests.  You can prepare the sauce in advance, buy fresh pasta from a good market, make a good caesar (with store-bought dressing to save on time), and serve it with garlic bread and biscotti and gelato for dessert... or a crisp if you're an all-star like Emily.  I can't think of anything better.

PC: Bonappetit

Recipe after the jump: 

Pasta Bolognese:
Servings: 3-4

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup onion, medium dice (about half of an onion)
2/3 cup EACH celery and carrot, medium dice
3/4 lb of ground chuck (she did 1/4 of veal, chuck and pork each)
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
1 cup white wine 
1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste 

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.  Add the onion, celery and carrot and gently sauté until tender, about 2-3 min. Add the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook meat through and drain off any excess fat.  Add milk and simmer until evaporated.  Add wine and simmer until evaporated.  Add tomatoes and simmer for about 20-30 minutes: season with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh pasta. 

-Recipe by Emily Hoffman 

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