Bolognese Secrets from a Local Chef
Fresh Pasta. There really is nothing like it. Some accounts date the stuff back hundreds, if not a thousand years in Italy and while you can get fresh pasta almost anywhere in the world, Italians seem to have a knack for doing it the best. So, for local chef and pasta maker, Justin Labossiere, only the Italian technique and equipment would do. However, at NOtaBLE The Restaurant, where Justin has been the Executive Chef since the busy, busy place opened in 2010, there are many requests for gluten frees to be included in the delicious fun. So, Justin made it his mission to create a gluten free, fresh pasta where no one could tell the difference.
Justin met the challenge with so much success, that they don't serve gluten filled pasta at all anymore. The gluten free goes to everyone and it is spectacular. Justin packages MORE Fresh Pasta so we can enjoy it at home and it can also be found on the menu at Yellow Door Bistro, The Hyatt, The Main Dish, Calgary Petroleum Club, Heritage Park, and Craft Beer Market with sure expansion to follow.
Lucky for us, Justin has opened the vault and is sharing one of his pasta recipes from the NOtaBLE menu with us!
Bolognese sauce came from Northern Italy and was not introduced to North America until the 1960's when air travel made the world smaller. The recipes for this thick and rich "ragu" date back to the 1700's where many versions contain milk and either white or red wine. This version keeps in tradition with carrots, celery and onion and adds a twist with orange juice.
½ pound carrots diced (about 2 cups)
½ pound onion diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 stick celery diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 fresh sage leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup red wine
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
freshly grated parmesan to top
1) Roughly chop herbs. Combine herbs and all vegetables in a food processor and lightly puree
2) In a medium to large pot, brown meat over a medium heat, season with salt and pepper
3) Strain meat into a colander and discard all excess fat
4) Add meat back into pot with vegetable mixture and sweat for 10-12 minutes
5) Add tomato paste and mix well, do not brown
6) Deglaze pot with orange juice and red wine. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the wine is cooked off
7) Add both chicken and beef broth, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 45min - hour uncovered, stirring occasionally.
8) Bolognese will be done when is has a nice rich consistency, it should not be watery
9) Enjoy sauce over MORE Fresh Pasta (available in the fridge or freezer at Calgary Amaranth stores) or your favourite fresh pasta (perhaps you want to make your own!). Follow package directions to cook pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Note: If you prefer an alternative to pasta altogether, this rich sauce would top roasted spaghetti sauce beautifully. Zucchini can also be cut into ribbons with your vegetable peeler (or spiralled with a fancy Spirooli tool). If you have the sauce piping hot and just combine it with the raw noodles in your bowl, the heat will soften them and make for a new "pasta" choice.