life is messy August 2, 2007


I’ve come back from my vacation seemingly well-equipped – mentally and physically – to handle the emotions and the stress that go along with difficult family situations. Next week – almost 11 months since her passing – I will be traveling to North Dakota for my mother’s memorial service. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It seems like both days and a lifetime. It’s been weighing on my mind the past few days as I think of all of the things I need to get ready, think of things to say, think of the things not to say.

To say that I have been craving comfort food this week would be an understatement. My diet has been made up of cheese, low carb ice cream, and pasta. Making sauce is a time consuming and thoughtful process to me – perfect for a healthy session of mindless stirring. While I tend to err on the side of light, veggie based pastas…when I need the big guns in the cozy department, I love hearty sauces. This is the first time I’ve ever made Bolognese from scratch. While I haven’t appreciated the homemade version in the past, I’m now a convert. This recipe uses four types of meats in it…and reduces down to a delicious, sloppy, flavorful sauce. Sometimes life – and food – gets messy.

Bolognese Sauce (Ragu Bolognese)makes 6 1/2 cups or about 10 to 12 servings – recipe found here at

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, scraped and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, with the juices
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups beef stock

-Salt and pepper
In a 6 to
8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over
medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sweat over
medium heat until vegetables are translucent.

– Add veal, pork, beef, and
pancetta to the vegetables, brown over high heat, stirring to keep meat
from sticking together for about 15 to 20 minutes.

– Add the milk and
simmer until almost dry, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer
15 minutes.

– Add the wine and beef stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat,
and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until flavors are developed. Season
with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.


doodles Aug 3, 2007 05:08 am

I certainly can understand your need for comfort food, been down that same hiway.
I have that same sauce in my recipe efile, have yet to try it, need a crowd to cook for since we are in an RV and traveling freezing is not the perfect option.

barbara Aug 4, 2007 08:08 pm

At a time like this cooking is great therapy. Hugs to you.

matt Aug 5, 2007 04:08 am

Yes, big hugs to you, and call me next time you make this.
I’ll be RIGHT over :)

Chris Aug 5, 2007 07:08 pm

Pasta is a wonderful food to sit and chill with. Looks delicious. And, I will join in – BIIIIIIIIGGGG hugs from O.T.P.

Christine Aug 5, 2007 09:08 pm

Wow four types of meat! That sounds delicious. I’ll be sending good thought your way, Tami. Big big hug to you.

Joe Aug 6, 2007 11:08 am

I agree with the cooking is great therapy statement – life can certainly be challenging at times, but sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time in the kitchen to help one get through it.

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