Pasta Bolognese & Kale Salad with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette


Pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce  |  Chopped Kale with a Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette and Parmesan Cheese  |  Garlic Croutons

Intro Collage


“On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”
― Mark Haddon

As I write this post it is raining so very hard.  This rare {for Northern California} summer rain storm started building on Sunday and, after a day of clouds and light rain we have achieved an outright downpour.  It is quite peaceful and I find myself enjoying this “white noise”.  The grill remained covered today and this Ragú Bolognese, which I started yesterday afternoon, softly simmered on the stovetop all afternoon while garlic croutons roasted in the oven…the smell was divine!

The ragú for this evening’s dinner is actually a variation of this recipe and that one and the resulting sauce is our favorite.  The combination of loads of garlic, fresh herbs and chile flakes from the latter with the rich meats, milk and nutmeg of the former resulted in a gravy that possessed wonderful texture and great depth of flavor.  Preparing the ragú a day in advance allows the overall flavor of the sauce to really develop.

Pappardelle Pasta with Ragú Bolognese {adapted from Canal House Cooks Everyday & Bamonte’s Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY}

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled & finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled & pushed through a garlic press
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 4 chicken livers, finely chopped
  • ¾ pound ground chuck
  • ¾ pound ground pork
  • ½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup HOT whole milk
  • 1 {28-ounce} can tomato purée
  • 1 cup Dark Chicken stock
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat the butter & oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions & cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, just until soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add the celery & carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Stir in chile flakes and tomato paste.
  3. Add the prosciutto & chicken livers and cook until the livers are pale pink, about 1 minute.  Add the ground chuck & ground pork.  Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon until a little pink coloring remains, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine to the pot & cook until evaporated.  Add the milk & cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the tomato purée and stock in a saucepan until hot, then add it to the meat.  Reduce the heat to low, add the thyme and bay leaf to the pot, cover and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 4-5 hours.  Add water, if needed, to keep the ragú loose and saucy.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Discard thyme and bay leaf and serve over pasta. If not using immediately, allow sauce to completely cool and then refrigerate in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  Bring sauce to a simmer and heat through for 10-20 minutes prior to serving.

Bolognese Collage

Garlic Croutons

  • 1 loaf rustic bread {preferably a day old}, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & pushed through a garlic press
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss until the bread chunks have been well-coated.  Spread the bread pieces, in a single layer, onto a jellyroll pan or a large roasting pan {you may need more than one pan depending how much bread you have.
  3. Roast until croutons have turned a golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Remove the croutons from the oven and use immediately or allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to one week.

Croutons Collage

Finally, the kale salad.  Ever so simple but full a flavor and texture.  The vinaigrette is an adaptation from 101 Cookbooks…

Chopped Kale Salad with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Cheese

  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale ~ leaves removed from stems, washed, dried and coarsely chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the first four ingredients.  Add salt to taste and set aside.
  2. Place kale leaves into a large bowl, drizzle with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the leaves {there should not be a pool of dressing in the bottom of the bowl} and toss well.  Add the parmesan cheese and once again, toss to combine.  Serve with Garlic Croutons.

Kale Salad Collage

The final dinner plate…



K Initial


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