Penne Bolognese & A Caesar Salad


Penne Bolognese  |  Caesar Salad

Pasta Bolognese

Menu Trim


I recently posted about how much I LOVE getting my foodie magazine subscriptions each month…treating each new edition, loaded with beautiful photographs & all those new recipes to try, as a little gift…for me.

Tonight’s dinner recipe is from Bamonte’s restaurant in Brooklyn, New York and is featured in the February 1, 2013 edition of Saveur Magazine {The Saveur 100 Travel Edition}.  Seriously…any recipe, hailing from an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, is a gift to the home chef & needs to be tried!

Bamonte’s Penne Bolognese

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ¼ pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound dried penne rigate or ziti
  • Grated parmesan for serving

You may notice in my photographs that I doubled this recipe {I always make a double batch of pasta sauce so I can freeze enough for another dinner}.  I also cooked everything on the stovetop in the non-stick insert of my slow-cooker.  I had an extremely busy afternoon planned today so I made the sauce earlier this morning.  When I finished assembling the sauce, I simply slipped the insert into the slow-cooker and turned on low for 4 hours.  We returned home this evening and the aroma in the kitchen which greeted us was wonderful!

  • Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrot & chile flakes to the pot and cook until golden brown…mine took a full 10 minutes

Carrots Celery Garlic Onion

Celery Chopped

Red Pepper Flakes

  • Add the ground veal & pork to the pot and cook, stirring often, until well-browned…making sure you break up the meat as you stir

Veal & Pork Ground

  • Add tomato paste, stir in to combine and cook for 2-4 minutes.
  • Add the red wine, stir well and cook until liquid is reduced by half {3-5 minutes}
  • Add tomatoes, basil, thyme and bay leaf

Basil Leaf & Chiopped

Bay Leaf & Thyme

  • Simmer until sauce is thickened {stirring occasionally}…about 6 minutes.  At this point I returned my insert to the slow cooker and cooked on low for four hours

Bolognese Sauce

  •  This evening when I got home, all I had to do was boil a pot of salted water and cook my penne according to package directions.  When the pasta was al dente {after about 9 minutes} I drained, reserving ½ cup of pasta water & tossed the pasta with the sauce and the reserved pasta water.  Serve with grated parmesan.

For the Caesar Salad…we like to keep ours pretty simple…it is ALL about the dressing!  I will wash, spin-dry and chop two small heads of baby romaine and toss with this Classic Caesar Dressing.  You can also add homemade croutons…Michael was bringing some fresh bread home tonight from Acme Bread at the Ferry Building so I opted to leave out the croutons.  A few twists of freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese finish this salad.  {Note: this dressing contains raw egg yolks.  Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid raw egg yolks}.

Classic Caesar  Salad Dressing

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 “pinch” cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

For tonight’s dressing, I doubled the batch…

Caesar Egg Yolks

Caesar Lemons Caesar Salad Pre-Blend

  • After placing all of the ingredients in a bowl, I mix with a handheld immersion blender.  This dressing coats the leaves well but it is not a thick, creamy, heavy dressing.

Caesar Dressing

Caesar Dressing in Jar

All finals & school are finished and when Michael steps off that ferry tonight, we are all, officially, on Holiday break for two{+} weeks!!   Just “being together” as a family is such a gift… 

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