Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Veal, Pork & Porcini Bologonese Sauce with Rigatoni

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Veal, Pork & Porcini Bologonese Sauce with Rigatoni

From our recent trip to Napa Valley, we had dinner at Michael Chiarello's restauarant, Bottega. I wanted to recreate my dinner selection like the mad woman that I am. I sucessfully recreated my Mesa Grill experience and the sauces - my own mini Bobby Flay throwdown to myself. I wanted to try and match that effort for Michael Chiarello. I did my best to find all my recipes or similar recipes to my entree of Housemade egg papperdelle with the bolognese sauce. I really wanted to make my own pasta noodles, but I haven't bought the KA attachment for pasta yet. So I figured making this sauce with the next best thing. It was an excellent and hearty sauce using veal and pork, but I didn't get the great flavor from the porcini mushrooms as I had remembered. Try finding the dry porcini mushrooms to really help accentuate this dish, it will enhance the dish to the maximum.

Veal, Pork & Porcini Bolognese Sauce
Adapted from Michael Chiarello

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup ground veal
1/2 cup ground pork
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and chopped, liquid reserved
2 tablespoons porcini juice, reserved from above
3/4 cup veal stock
1/4 cup canned or jarred marinara sauce
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently to sweat for about 2 minutes. Do not let the onions caramelize. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook about 1 minute, or until garlic is lightly browned.
2. Add the veal and pork and cook, smashing the meat apart with a wooden spoon, to keep it from clumping together. Cook for about 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook about 4 minutes, evaporating any liquid and caramelizing the meat.
3. Add the porcini juice to the meat and cook for 1 minute to evaporate. Add the veal stock and cook for 2 minutes. Add the marinara and the wine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
4. Toss 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan into the sauce to help it bind. Add some reserved pasta water, as necessary, if the sauce appears too dry. Top with the remaining Parmesan.

Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups fresh tomato puree
1 large fresh basil stem with leaves removed
1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
Pinch baking soda or sugar, if needed

1.Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the parsley and garlic and cook briefly to release their fragrance. Add the tomatoes, basil and salt. Simmer briskly until reduced to a sauce like consistency, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. The timing will depend on the ripeness and meatiness of your tomatoes and the size of your pot. If the sauce thickens too much before the flavors have developed, add a little water and continue cooking.
2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce tastes too acidic, add the baking soda and cook for 5 more minutes. If it needs a touch of sweetness, add the sugar and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the basil stem before serving.
Yield: 4 cups

Review: This sauce was not was intense as I remembered it from Bottega, but for me bolognese sauce is always better the next day because the flavors need to soak in with rigatoni. I'm not Michael Chiarello, so my guess for my variances on the dish were two big factors - my produce items used, couldn't find dry porcini mushrooms (had to sub for a varietal of dry mushrooms) and veal stock (I used veal demi-glace and made a stock from it), but either way I'll have to re-work this recipe again with the correct ingredients (substitutions never really fare well with me), or maybe just re-visit Bottega for another wonderful dinner. It's a win-win situation either way right?
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