Thursday, February 17, 2011

Carmine's Bolognese Sauce

I'm so excited to share this Bolognese sauce with all of you compliments of Carmine’s Restaurant. Carmine's is a family style Italian restaurant with locations in NYC, NJ, Bahamas, and Washington DC. Carmine’s was created with the goal of serving every meal in the style of an Italian American wedding feast. It was a pleasure to interview Chef Terry Natas of Carmine's in DC. Chef Terry suggests pairing the Bolognese sauce with a type of pasta like rigatoni or maybe fresh pappardelle. "Food is only as good as the types of ingredients you put in your sauces, " he said. They cook all their pasta to order and make sure its al dente for each individual order with the perfect amount of pasta to the perfect amount of sauce. Buon appetito!

Carmine’s Bolognese Sauce

Makes 7 Cups
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic
¼ onion, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons finely chopped celery
4 Tablespoons finely chopped carrots
1 pound coarsely ground beef
½ pound of sweet or hot fennel sausage, casing removed
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsely
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cup dry red wine
One 26 to 28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely crushed
2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 cup grated Romano cheese
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1.    In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir in. Increase the heat to high, add the onions, and cook the mixture, stirring, for about 1 minute and until it is fragrant. Add the celery and cook it, stirring, for one minute. Add the carrots, and cook it, stirring, for 1 minute longer to soften the vegetables slightly.
2.    Add the beef and sausage and use a wooden spoon or long- handled fork to break up the meat so that it will cook evenly. Cook the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes or until the meat is browned. Stir it occasionally after the first 2 or 3 minutes of cooking.
3.    Add the basil, parsley, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, 1 tablespoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mixture, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.
4.    Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil it for about 3 minutes or until the red wine is reduced to ¼ cup. Add the tomatoes and stock and return it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for about 50 minutes until it is well blended. Increase the heat to high and boil it for 10 minutes or until some of the liquid evaporates and it is slightly thickened consistency.
5.    Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Remove it from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and butter.  Serve the sauce immediately, ladled over  cooked pasta.
6.    To store the sauce, transfer it to a bowl, and cool it to room temperature. Transfer it to a tightly covered storage container and refrigerate it for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 1 month