And pasta and a rich meat sauce fits all the "ugly winter weather food" criteria.
My Dad taught me how to make the best Bolognese, and here is my version of the dish.
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages of fresh mushrooms (shitake, oyster, porcini...)
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 cup red wine
2 large cans of peeled tomatoes
Piment d'Espelette, or red pepper flakes, to taste
2 Tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch basil, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven, or other large heavy sauce pan.
Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until tender. Add the garlic; sautee for 3 minutes and remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan, and saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same sauce pan, add the ground pork and saute until cooked through, stirring regularly to separate the meat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Repeat with the beef. When done set aside.
Pour the wine into the pan, still on medium heat, and scrape all the meat peaces from the sides of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to about half a cup.
Transfer the onion-garlic mixture back to the dutch oven, add the meats and mix well. Add the tomatoes, the oregano, piment d'Espelette, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for a good hour or more, stirring occasionally.
Before serving, sprinkle with the freshly chopped basil.
Serve the sauce over linguine, spaghetti or fettuccine (al dente of course!) and freshly grated Parmesan.
- Should you have leftover meats piling up in the fridge, use them instead of buying fresh meats. Just pulse them in the food processor and follow the recipe. The sauce will taste even better. Any meat will work; I have at times used leftover lamb!
- You can change the meats too! Instead of pork you can try a sweet Italian sausage.