This Wicked White Bolognese Is A Tasty Twist On A Classic Pasta Dish

This Wicked White Bolognese Is A Tasty Twist On A Classic Pasta Dish

If the thought of making your own pasta from scratch feels like a daunting task, cook and writer Odette Williams is here to show people that it doesn’t have to be. Her book Simple Pasta: Pasta Made Easy. Life Made Better. comes out on August 30, and it’s filled with approachable pasta recipes and general kitchen wisdom.

โ€œI’ve always adored pasta,โ€ Williams told me. โ€œWhenever I eat it, everything in life feels right. It’s my comfort food, my escape, my indulgence. It has given me infinite pleasure. I was really fortunate to have such a cheerful, delicious food to write about during the pandemic.โ€

In Single Pasta, Williams demystifies the process of making pasta from scratch, which she herself never did until she was 40. There are just three base doughs (egg dough, semolina dough and gnocchi) in the book, two of which don’t even require a pasta machine. The book is divided by season, with recipes for tried-and-true everyday sauces plus tips and tricks for rolling, cutting and shaping fresh pasta dough. Of course, making your own pasta isn’t required to enjoy Williams’s recipes. Just use your favorite dry pasta.

If you haven’t made pasta before, her advice is simple: Remember that it’s just pasta. โ€œThere’s nothing a home cook can’t successfully pull off, and yes, I’m going to convince you to make your own pasta,โ€ Williams said. โ€œI’m proof, I had never made fresh pasta until I was 40 (even though I had eaten it nearly every night of the week). Now, I religiously make it. I wanted to share this delight. This book, will hopefully be your unlock without getting overwhelmed. And then for nights when you don’t have the energy for the fresh stuff (I get it), you can always use dried pasta.โ€

Reprinted with permission from Single Pasta by Odette Williams, copyright (c) 2022. Published by Ten Speed โ€‹โ€‹Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Wicked White Bolognese

All my friends love this! White Bolognese is a welcome change from the more ubiquitous red-sauce kind. If I’m honest, I think this version has more panache with its porky bits, veal, cannellini beans and cream. This goes with just about any pasta shape, fresh or dried, but my absolute favorite is to have it with dried macaroni because every spoonful has equal portions of Bolognese and pasta, and I feel like a kid again.

Makes 6 servings

5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or as needed

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

4 oz pancetta or prosciutto, finely diced

1 c finely diced celery

1 c finely diced carrot

1 c finely diced yellow onion

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb ground pork

1/2 lb ground veal or beef

1/2 c good dry white wine

1 c chicken stock

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 c heavy cream

1 c finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, with tender stems and leaves

1/4 c finely chopped marjoram or thyme

1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 pound dried macaroni

Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil and butter and warm until the butter is melted. Add the pancetta, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf; season with the salt and pepper; and sautรฉed, stirring often, for 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure to really cook this soffitto down to get it caramelized. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add the pork, veal, and a splash more oil, if needed, to the pan. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the wine to the pan and deglaze, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the chicken stock, beans, cream, parsley, marjoram, and pancetta-soffritto mixture. Lower the heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, stir in the lemon juice.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes or according to package instructions if using store-bought. Using a large spider or slotted spoon, transfer the pasta into a large bowl and stir in a splash of olive oil to stop it from sticking together.

Serve the pasta topped with the Bolognese and grated Parmigiano.




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