Sunday, December 29, 2013

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

This is a great way to make a big batch of homemade Bolognese sauce and freeze it to have on hand for months. The slow cooking process really allows the flavors to develop and creates an incredible pairing for pasta.

Serve 8-10                      Prep: 20 minutes       Cook: 7 hrs


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini, soaked, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil or 2 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 (28oz.) cans crushed tomatoes - San Marzano brand
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • Pasta, for serving
  • Torn basil leave for garnish
  • grated Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, porcini and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme and nutmeg, and continue cooking until the vegetables have softened and started to brown, about 2 minutes. deglaze with the wine, pulling up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Carefully transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the cream and tomatoes. Mix the pork and sirloin together in a separate bowl, using your hands, until combined. Stir the meat into the slow cooker, spreading out evenly and avoiding any large clumps. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. Skim the accumulated grease from the surface before serving. 
  3. Serve over pasta top with Parmesan cheese and basil with crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Maple Glazed Roasted Acorn Squash

Serves 4 to 6
1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup, warmed
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place squash sliced onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with alt and pepper and gently toss together.
3. Sprinkle tops of squash with brown sugar.
4. Roast squash for 35 to 40 minutes occasionally tossing around, gently, to avoid sticking.
5. 7 to 10 minutes before roasting is completely, brush a small amount of maple syrup over each piece of squash and finish roasting.
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