To me, the simplest food is always the best. Not a ton of ingredients, or super fancy-schmancy techniques or precious presentation. Don’t get me wrong, I like a gorgeously styled dish from time to time. But what I really love – what I crave – is simple, rustic and natural. Like the smokey Italian bolognese that I found in the SPQR cookbook.
Ten Speed Press was gracious enough to send me 2 copies of the book – one for you and one for me! As I mentioned Wednesday, that’s lucky because when testing one of the recipes from the book, I got a giant hunk of sauce all over the page. And let’s be honest, you don’t want my dirty, dog eared copy. But you DO want the book – especially if you like carbs, Italian dishes, slow food from scratch, wine and pretty much anything else that makes life worth living.
If you don’t love carbs, Italian dishes, slow food from scratch, wine and pretty much anything else that makes life worth living, well… Then you probably aren’t reading my blog anyhow. So let’s assume you do.
I’ll be honest, this cookbook may be a little advanced for some. Even as a “seasoned” (get it, salt & pepper?) Italian cook, I found some of the recipes intimidating. That being said, the steps are broken down nicely and if you’re prepared to learn as you go, this could be the right book for you. If you don’t fancy yourself brave enough to take on grinding your own meat or making your own pasta just yet, you can still drool, ogle and thoroughly enjoy this read. And it is a read – the book is loaded with informative recipes, cooking techniques and slow food philosophy. Interestingly, I was totally surprised at how integrated the wine regions were to each chapter. This isn’t a light browse by the seat of your underpants kinda cookbook – be prepared to thoroughly tour Italy, from region to region, glass to fork, and immerse yourself in Italian cuisine.
Overall, I enjoyed it. The same way I enjoy a bowl of really good pasta, incredibly flavorful sauce and a bottle of red table wine. It makes for one happy lady. If I can call myself a lady. If not, it makes for one happy donna. (Donna is the Italian word for woman. Totally had to Google that.)
And this, my friends, was one hell of a good pasta.
Italian Bolognese is pretty much the most famous example of a regional Italian ragu and fairly straightforward to make. Meat, veg and a bit of fat. Easy, right? And as with most sauces, it benefits from a slow, tender simmer and a night in the fridge for the flavours to mingle. Plan ahead, make this. But first, enter to win your own copy of this intensely Italian – and delicious – book. You know you wanna.
I’m not going to lie – I cheated a bit and bought the egg noodles instead of making them. You all know how much I love making pasta from scratch but in all honesty, I just didn’t have the energy to do it with all the unpacking going on around here. It was still phenomenal.
Giveaway after the recipe!
Italian Bolognese with Egg Noodles
Yield 4 servings
- 1 Package of Broad Egg Noodles
- 1 Lb 5 Oz Bonelss Pork Shoulder, cubed.
- 7 Oz Pig Skin (optional)
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 6 Garlic Cloves, peeled & sliced
- 1/4 C Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
- Pinch of Dried Pepper Flakes
- 1 1/3 C Dry Red Wine
- 1 1/4 C Water
- Fresh Nutmeg, for grating
- 2 Thyme Sprigs, 1 Rosemary Sprig, 1 Sage Sprig & 10 Cloves, wrapped in cheesecloth & string.
- 1 1/2 C Soffrito*
- 1/3 C Heavy Cream
- Red Wine Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- Fresh Parmesan-Reggiano, for grating
- Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- In a large bowl, season the pork very well with salt. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Fit your stand mixer with the meat grinder attachment (medium plate) and grind the pork and pig skin together.*
- Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork mixture when hot and brown well. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot, pour in another glug of olive oil and when hot, toss in the onion. Season with salt and stir well. Allow to soften (approx 3 minutes). If the bottom of the pan starts to get to dark, deglaze with a splash of water.
- Mix in the garlic and sweat 1 minute more. Stir in tomato paste, chipotle and red pepper flakes and cook until the paste starts to brown (approx 3 minutes).
- Return the pork to the pot and top off with the wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce liquid by 1/3.
- Add the water and return to a simmer. Grate the nutmeg into the pot and submerg the herb sachet. Cover, place in oven and cook gently for 1 1/2 hours.
- As the sauce cooks away in the oven, make the soffritto. Finely chop an onion, large carrot and 2 stalks of celery. A food processor does this in seconds! Pour 1/4 C of olive oil into a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and then add the veggies. Once you hear a bit of sizzle, reduce the heat to low. Season well with salt and allow the vegetables to cook oh so slowly for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Back to the sauce! Remove from the oven after an hour and a half and uncover. Taste - skim away excess fat if there is any. The meat and skin should be tender and the sauce noticeably thicker.
- Over low heat, stir in the soffrito and cream and allow to summer until sauce has a velvety texture (5-7 minutes).
- Taste, season with salt and pepper if needed and add a splash or two of red wine vinegar to brighten the flavours. Remove the herb sachet. Stir well.
- When you have about 15 minutes left in the sauce cooking process, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the egg noodles and cook until el dente (approx 5-7 minutes). Drain and reserve liquid.
- Place noodles back in the pot and when the sauce is ready, place over low heat and spoon the sauce over the noodles a couple spoonfuls at a time, stirring between additions. Add until enough sauce clings to the noodles but doesn't cover them entirely. If necessary, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to keep it from getting too dry. When you've achieved the desired sauce coverage, add a pat of butter. Plate. Top with freshly grated Parmesan, a bit more pepper and serve.
If you can't access a meat grinder, a good quality pastured ground pork blend will work. Try to get the skin and score the fatty underside with a knife. Cut into 6" pieces and include in the cooking process; It'll add flavour. Remove before serving.Soffritto is a mixture of finely chopped onion, carrot and celery.
Adapted from http://www.spqrsf.com/about/
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
* Contest open to Canadian & American mailing addresses only.
MANDATORY: Simply leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite Italian type food is!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Ten Speed Press sent me a review copy at no cost. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions and information is entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and was not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products. Opinions and views are my own.
Tara @ Rovin' RamblerJuly 4, 2014 at 8:56 AM
This cookbook sounds amazing! I recently wrote a freelance article on Italian cuisine and have become obsessed. It makes me want to go back to Italy and eat my way through the whole country.
Phyllis @ OraciboAugust 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM
Oh Tara…I’m totally in sync with you…I probably would not be able to choose one favourite type of Italian food because I love it all (except anchovies)…from the veggies to wild mushrooms to pasta to the meats and seafood, how can one choose. Every time I arrive in Italy I can hardly wait to begin the search for good things to cook and eat!
JonJuly 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Pizza. I would pretty much eat pizza every day if I could. I’m not naming anyone, but other people in my house don’t feel quite the same, although at least I’m allowed to make it once a week!
RhondaJuly 4, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Baked ziti just love it.whole family devours it.the cookbook looks great perfect for me.
JenniferJuly 4, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Pasta – any way it’s served, it is easily my favourite!
KathyJuly 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Haven’t had an Italian dish that isn’t a favourite!
Angie @ fridaycakenightJuly 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM
Lasagna. Any kind, any time!
Laureen FoxJuly 4, 2014 at 1:31 PM
Lasagne with fresh herbs and handmade noodles!!
CharmianJuly 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM
I love fresh, homemade pasta. And tiramisu. Don’t make me pick which I like best. It’s a Sophie’s Choice situation for me.
EmilyJuly 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM
There is so much to love, but I always head the dessert direction. I love gelato!
rose rJuly 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM
Would love to try recipes from all different regions of Italy
MarnieJuly 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM
This might be my new fave recipe!
Renee GJuly 4, 2014 at 8:42 PM
Our family loves to get together and make ravioli.
MeredithJuly 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Meatballs!! Meatballs on everything ever. I could eat them every day. Maybe I will!
maya huJuly 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM
i like spaghetti and meatballs, im old fashioned i guess! 🙂
LynneJuly 5, 2014 at 12:09 AM
I really like tortellini – both with cheese filling and those filled with meat.
melanie borhiJuly 5, 2014 at 12:18 AM
I like spaghetti Bolognese with bruschetta
Lindsey @HalfDimeHomesteadJuly 5, 2014 at 1:20 AM
I would buy the egg noodles, too. Although if I got really frisky, I could make a mean noodle.
That stuff looks so good!!
MerryJuly 5, 2014 at 7:11 AM
This does look delicious! While I do love my pasta (homemade or not!), pizza is my favorite Italian dish.
Tari LawsonJuly 5, 2014 at 8:08 AM
I love gnocchi in a rose’ sauce.
MelissaJuly 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Oh Kristy my husband loves these type of recipes! He is going to LOVE this one! Great photos too! Yum!
JustinJuly 5, 2014 at 10:24 AM
DonnasJuly 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM
I’ve always been a fan of lasagna. My mother never made it when we were growing up (there were 7 of us kids, my mother always said she cooked for quantity, not quality). Now I know of so many different ways to make lasagna, one is a vegetarian dish that uses zucchini instead of noodles. Absolute divine!!!
LizJuly 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM
Penne alla vodka!
Heather RJuly 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM
I love gnocchi, I’ve had it several ways and I love it no matter how it’s served – I’d like to try a lot more, too!
d. smithJuly 5, 2014 at 6:02 PM
bolognese with pasta has always been special. however, you mention egg noodles which i love with cream sauces .. but now you have put it in my mind to go red! lol
win or not .. thanks for the idea!:-)
Jessibeth VicentyJuly 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM
We love Penne Pasta with Chicken and Alfredo Sauce MMM! 😀
ClaireJuly 5, 2014 at 7:09 PM
Jasmine HendersonJuly 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM
My favorite Italian dish by far is pizza! Yum!
Maggie K.July 6, 2014 at 12:07 AM
My favourite italian dish is lasagna.
lucyJuly 6, 2014 at 12:48 AM
Robin from Around the IslandJuly 6, 2014 at 1:49 AM
Pasta with any kind of cream sauce. *swoon*
Maegan MorinJuly 6, 2014 at 2:49 AM
I gotta say my favorite is still a good heart lasagna!
Nicole MechamJuly 6, 2014 at 3:25 AM
My favorite dish is definitely Chicken Alfredo pasta!
Lindsey McDowellJuly 6, 2014 at 3:31 AM
This book looks amazing. Pizza is my favourite Italian guilty pleasure.
sarah sarJuly 6, 2014 at 4:42 AM
I have to say that I’m a big fan of butternut squash ravioli!
FrancineJuly 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM
spaghettini with Arrabiata sauce!
Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeetsJuly 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM
I like carbs, Italian dishes, slow food from scratch, wine and pretty much anything else that makes life worth living.
Pick me, pick me, pick me. Please.
HannahJuly 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Pizza of course! But, I also really like fettuccine Alfredo.
Marlene V. (Enelram)July 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM
Meg G.July 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM
My favorite Italian food to eat/cook is Penne alla Vodka
NatalieJuly 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM
I love tiramisu and my Italian mother would love nothing more than to see me master some of these recipes! Everything looks delicious, and I think simple and rustic is the way to go
JordanJuly 6, 2014 at 11:50 AM
I really like small bites-things that don’t even have to be cooked, like briny olives, fresh cheese, and a crusty loaf of bread with peppery olive oil. I guess you would call this picnic food or antipasto.
Ashley CostanzoJuly 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM
I love my grandma’s meatballs! Mmmmmmmmmm. But if going out for Italian I always lean towards white sauce so a chicken alfredo is great too!
lauraJuly 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM
This looks awesome! I just loooooove all types of pasta. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!
Sandi TymchukJuly 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM
I love pizza and meat lasagna.
Brooke T.July 6, 2014 at 2:51 PM
I love making my own pastas and then cooking up a nice peppery, garlicky carbonara!! 🙂
Carly D.July 6, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Penne a la vodka has always been one of my favorites!!
Denise SJuly 6, 2014 at 4:39 PM
I love lasagna the most.
Jill TJuly 6, 2014 at 5:01 PM
This cookbook looks delicious!
Lynn ClaytonJuly 6, 2014 at 5:19 PM
Casie K.July 6, 2014 at 5:41 PM
I love a good, from-scratch stromboli!
MarijaJuly 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM
I love homemade pasta with fresh herbs. Mmm!
Teresa, foodonfifthJuly 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM
What a lovely book…amazing food and photos.
gayle gildehausJuly 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM
Lasagna is my very favorite no matter what the recipe.
KellyJuly 6, 2014 at 7:14 PM
I love spaghetti bolognese.
NicoleJuly 6, 2014 at 7:28 PM
Lasagne is my fave!
mary fanara colemanJuly 6, 2014 at 8:28 PM
Mihaela DayJuly 6, 2014 at 8:29 PM
i like spaghetti and meatballs 🙂
Wanda BergmanJuly 6, 2014 at 9:19 PM
Spaghetti will always be my favourite Italian dinner!
Sara RJuly 6, 2014 at 10:20 PM
Spaghetti of course! (:
R.MuellerJuly 6, 2014 at 10:37 PM
My fav is vegetarian lasagna, and my hubby loves ANYTHING pasta!
EmilyJuly 6, 2014 at 11:00 PM
I really love carbonara over homemade pasta.
Thanks for the giveaway!
CaitlynJuly 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM
Sausage and peppers rustico is a frequent dish in our home, but my all-time favorite will be (and always has been) ravioli.. with gnocchi as a close second. I’ve only made homemade ravioli once though since we got a kit at Christmas this year. Our meals are almost always italian at home so I would love to win this cookbook
CandyJuly 7, 2014 at 12:43 AM
I love penne vodka or basically any pasta 🙂
Brittney HouseJuly 7, 2014 at 1:02 AM
I like spaghetti and meatballs.
leahJuly 7, 2014 at 4:16 AM
I’ve always loved ravioli!!
Wayne LecoyJuly 7, 2014 at 7:37 AM
I am entering your giveaway.
It would be great to win a copy of
SPQR:Modern Italian Food and Wine
by Shelley Lindgren
In response to your question of What is your favorite Italian dish?
My favorite is Penne Pasta with Chicken and Alfredo Sauce.
Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!!!
deana cJuly 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM
I have many favorite Italian dishes but my favorite is zuppa di pesce.
AlexJuly 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Ravioli! Big ones…
CaitlynJuly 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Pretty much any pasta dish…but really all Italian food is delicious!
Jessica GoforthJuly 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM
This would be great seeing as I am moving to Italy!
KatJuly 7, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Italian? Yes, please! If I HAD to choose just one, nothing beats a perfectly executed lasagne!
Dawn S.July 7, 2014 at 3:59 PM
I have always loved spaghetti!
RobertaJuly 7, 2014 at 4:04 PM
My fave italian dish is Eggplant Parmesan
Michelle WJuly 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Pasta, any way…love it!
Danielle DJuly 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM
I love it all honestly from spaghetti to pizza!!
MeredithJuly 7, 2014 at 5:01 PM
My favourite type of Italian food is lasagne. When I lived in Berlin a few years ago, my access to the kitchen in the house I was sharing was restricted to certain hours and I often got home too late to cook. Fortunately, there was a little Italian restaurant on the corner that made wonderful lasagne. I still miss it.
Amy RuthJuly 7, 2014 at 5:20 PM
Oh. My. Sweet. Everlasting. Love. This cookbook sounds like heaven! My favorite italian…. pasta, any kind of pasta, the recipe doesn’t matter, if it’s an italian pasta dish, it has my heart and soul.
aarone mJuly 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM
Spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite dish!
HelgaJuly 7, 2014 at 8:04 PM
I love home made gnocchi! Also linguine with clams.
NicoleJuly 7, 2014 at 8:31 PM
A nice rich bolognese can’t be beat!
Jon MillerJuly 8, 2014 at 4:01 AM
Love the Italian dish called risotto. Beef ribeye steak peas cheese mushroom with a winebutter sauce reduction.
CarolsueJuly 8, 2014 at 5:22 AM
My favorite is Lasagna
Amanda CobbJuly 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Italian food is my top favorite kind of food, so it’s hard to pick a favorite! Any savory, non-seafood pasta dish is pretty much going to be awesome.
katklaw777July 8, 2014 at 10:46 AM
I luv stuffed shells with spinach…yum!
HeatherJuly 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM
I love eggplant Parmesan!
bethJuly 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM
pasta, simple and clean
Candice TaylorJuly 8, 2014 at 4:30 PM
Gnocchi is definitely a favourite around here in my house!
BeccaJuly 8, 2014 at 5:37 PM
Homemade gnocchi is my absolute favorite but it takes so long! I’d love to try some different recipes!
Daniel MJuly 8, 2014 at 6:19 PM
always like lasagna
Stephanie GalbraithJuly 8, 2014 at 7:59 PM
I love linguini with shrimp and mushrooms with a white cream sauce.
VivianJuly 8, 2014 at 8:17 PM
This cookbook looks amazing!!!
NatalieJuly 8, 2014 at 10:35 PM
Minest!! I always have trouble spelling that, so just in case I butchered the spelling horribly…Italian wedding soup 🙂 With cavatelli or gnocchi!!
kathy daltonJuly 8, 2014 at 11:07 PM
i am addicted to chicken parmesan
Dave WiseJuly 8, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Pizza Margherita! Though prosciutto and arugula pizza is pretty fantastic too.
Megan SweetJuly 9, 2014 at 3:09 AM
Zuppa Tuscana. It’s a sausage and potato soup. It’s amazing!
bethany saxtonJuly 9, 2014 at 10:24 AM
I looovveee Italian food!
Alisha SienkielJuly 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM
My favorite Italian dish is a pasta recipe made with hot Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Tara WoodsJuly 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM
My favorite Italian dish is cheese lasagna with a meat sauce.
AnneJuly 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Can’t wait to start cooking up some delicious Italian dishes this summer!
trippJuly 9, 2014 at 1:39 PM
My fave would have to be osso bucco…
Rachel WilliamsJuly 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM
I love gnocchi! :p
Kristen L.July 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM
I love lasagna!!
JackieJuly 9, 2014 at 7:04 PM
I would have to choose Ossobucco with a side of creamy mushroom risotto. Especially if the risotto has a hint of truffle. It’s amazing.
Carley G.July 9, 2014 at 10:11 PM
I love beggar’s pouches. I’m a vegetarian and love them filled with spinach. noodles and cream sauce? yes. more. always. please.
Love this recipe, too- would love to tweak it to fit my eating style!
jodiJuly 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM
a nice vodka sauce
Paul KJuly 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM
I love lasagna.
MackenzieJuly 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM
RyanJuly 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Italian food is easily one of my favourite comfort foods. Tortellini, Lasagna, Cannelloni, Pizza, ugh the list goes on and on.
MaryssaJuly 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Penne a la Vodka!
LaurenJuly 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM
I love Italian food! Cappellini, ravioli, pizza… yum!
Anna (Hidden Ponies)July 10, 2014 at 1:06 PM
Gorrrgeous book and pasta…for Italian food, I’m torn between a really good spaghetti and a thick lasagna…food that makes me wish I was Italian 🙂
liz lJuly 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM
Carol M (Lushka S)July 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM
Just one, ok, cannelloni
Megan HJuly 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM
My grandmother is from Malta, everything she makes is a dream! Her sauce is heaven.
Angela AshJuly 10, 2014 at 5:54 PM
My favorite Italian dish is manicotti. Anything with ricotta cheese really, but that’s my favorite.
Michelle PlummerJuly 10, 2014 at 7:12 PM
My fav Italian dish is Manicotti.
GinaJuly 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM
I love Italian food!! I love creating my own pasta dishes (curried scallops in a coconut cream sauce over penne), risotto (jalapeño and bacon!) and pizzas (all the veggies, then add bacon :D). Italian food is so FUN and of course… Wine during preparation is encouraged. 😛
susan smoaksJuly 10, 2014 at 9:25 PM
lasanga is my favorite italian food
Danielle GochJuly 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM
I absolutely love Chicken Parmesan.
KevinJuly 10, 2014 at 11:48 PM
ArvinJuly 11, 2014 at 1:32 AM
Chicken alla Cacciatore