During my last month interning at Food52, the senior editor, Kristen, decided to find a bolognese recipe for her Genius Column. Knowing how much of a pasta girl I am, she sweetly included me in the process, saving me little bowls of the meat sauce to try when I came in. In the end, it wasn’t so hard of a decision — Nigel Slater’s spaghetti bolognese recipe stood out as beyond genius.
Since then, I’ve made it three times. This is why I love it so much…
it’s ideal for dinner parties. If you have a few hours before people come over, you can make the bolognese and then let it simmer while you sip wine, throw a salad together (and vacuum dog hair off the couch.) Once your guests arrive, all you have to do is cook the pasta, slice up a baguette and dress your salad. You can actually chat and relax because most of the work will be done!
it has a few unusual ingredients that make it outstanding. The portobello mushroom adds an incredible earthy flavor, the bay leaves round out the sauce, and I always use lamb instead of beef –which adds a slightly unexpected, almost smokiness to the dish.
It is one of my favorite recipes on Food52 to date. I can’t recommend it enough!
The Best Bolognese
4 tablespoons butter
3 ounces cubed pancetta or bacon
1 medium onion
2 fat cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
2 large portobello mushrooms
2 bay leaves
1 lb ground lamb or beef
1 cup crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
pinch or grating of nutmeg
scant 1/4 cup heavy cream
pasta of your choice — (I love De Cecco’s Spaghetti No. 12)
Follow the step by step instructions here.