Monday, February 28, 2011

Papardelle Pseudo Bolognese alla Carbonara?

I wanted to cook up something special for my wife and she loves ground beef and eggs, so I immediately thought pasta. Then, I started thinking papardelle and a pseudo bolognese sauce made sense. I remembered enjoying raw egg yolk in some versions of carbonara in Rome, so I figured why not combine both. The one thing to note is the importance of acidity here as I believed egg yolk and bolognese would be way too heavy, so I brightened the dish up which made it sooo much more delicious and made you want to eat tons of the dish. Now, most Italians will poo-poo on this dish since it's not traditional at all, but it really is friggin delicious.

1/2 pound fresh papardelle
1/2 pound ground beef
1 diced sweet onion
1/4 tbsp butter
2 sprigs each of minced rosemary, thyme, and sage
1 pinch celery seed (didn't have celery at home)
5 crushed cloves garlic
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup Parmiggiano-Reggiano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 egg yolks

1) Sweat the onions and herbs in some butter over low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions get soft. Salt, pepper, and celery seed.

2) Cook the tomato paste for 5-10 minutes with the fire increased to high heat to concentrate the flavors. Add the balsamic and cook down for another 3 minutes. The balsamic will add some sweetness and brightness to the dish which will help balance out the egg yolk.

3) Add the meat over the high heat for about 5-10 minutes until browned. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

4) Add the wine and reduce down. Cook for another 5-10 minutes then add the tomatoes. When it comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let it go for an hour or so. I omitted the milk, since the yolk would make this sucker creamy enough - hence the Pseudo Bolo.

5) Finish the sauce. Add the lemon juice which does not make it taste sour, but really makes the sauce taste more alive and slightly sweeter. Add the rest of the butter which enhances the texture and flavor. Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning.

6) Start cooking the pasta in boiling water heavily salted water. Since the pasta is fresh, I cooked it about 1 minute. Taste it - it should be still slightly raw in the middle.

7) Toss the pasta in the meat sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes. Finish with the oil and cheese and taste one last time and adjust for seasonings. Plate the pasta and finish with more oil, cheese, pepper, and add the egg yolk in the middle. Buono appetito!

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