Our winemaker’s favorite meal and own recipe. Italian comfort food that will fill your appetite after a hard day in the vineyard.
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour
Italy’s Gift to All Mankind
“There is bolognese, and then there is bolgnese. This is the latter.”
Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale
Our winemaker’s own take on this mystical Italian dish is otherwise known as “Ragù alla Bolognese”, because it includes vegetables in the sauce, making it extra hearty. While many bolognese recipes require the sauce to soak overnight, our winemaker couldn’t wait that long…when he needs it, he needs it, capisce?
The story goes that one night after a long day of crushing tons of wine grapes, it was 2 AM in the morning and our winemaker was starving. Enter the bolognese. Now, we’re not saying you should fire up the stove at 2 AM… you should at least aim for 6 o’clock. Desperate for bolognese, he discovered how to make it in under 2 hours, and better than any 3 star Michelin joint.
The secret to this recipe is finely dicing all the vegetables (so that they cook faster) and using two knockout ingredients: Arrabiata sauce (we suggest RAOs), and a bit of Eden Hill wine. Yes, you heard that right. You’re going to cook with Eden Hill wine. Never, never, never, cook with bad wine. Use only the good stuff. Our winemaker gives you permission.
A good jar of Arrabiata sauce cuts the prep time in half, and gives the bolognese all the spiciness you need to wake you up after you’ve been standing on your feet all day next to a grape destemmer. This bolognese is hearty, balanced, tender and mouth-filling. It will make you a hero. It will make you love Italy. It will make you wish you had more Eden Hill wine.
One more detail: Yes, most restaurant bolognese uses large noodles (like tagliatelle), but at 2 AM, the winemaker only had spaghetti on hand. So what made the difference? It was whole wheat spaghetti. Whole wheat adds to the mouth feel, and is much easier to find at the store than tagliatelle. We do this because we love you.
Follow this recipe and you’ll cut half a day off the cooking time, and your winemaker will be very happy. And you want your winemaker to be happy, don’t you? He’ll be right over for bolognese.
1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti (or tagliatelle if you preferer large noodles)
1 jar Arrabiatta sauce (preferrably RAOs brand)
1 zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
1 small yellow onion
2 celery sticks
2 large carrots
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 pound lean ground beef (92% lean or better)
1 cup Eden Hill wine. Use the same wine you are having with dinner. See pairings below
Prepare the vegetables
- Finely dice the zucchini and squash
- Peel and finely chop the carrots and onions
- Finely dice the celery sticks·Put them in a bowl, set aside
Prepare the garlic
- Mince the garlic cloves
- Put them in a separate dish, set aside
- Place a large skillet on the stovetop, raise to medium heat
- Add the olive oil. Add the squash, celery, carrots and onion to the skillet and mix thoroughly
- Cook until the onions and celery are translucent, the squash is soft and all the vegetables are reduced in size (about 20 minutes). During this time, add a 1/2 cup of wine and turn the vegetables as you go to keep from burning
- Prepare the whole wheat spaghetti in a pot (usually 7 minutes at boiling)
- When the vegetables are reduced, push them to one side of the skillet, and add the ground beef to the other side
- Break up the beef and cook until brown and it begins to dry out (about 5 minutes)
- Mix the vegetables and beef together and add the garlic. Add another 1/2 cup of wine and let simmer (about 5 minutes)
- Pour in the Arrabiata sauce, add the dried basil and oregano and mix thoroughly
- Simmer and reduce the Bolognese while turning it in the skillet (about 5 minutes)
- Serve the pasta into separate bowls and spoon the Bolognese over the top. Cheers!
Our winemaker suggests these wines for pairing with his bolognese.