Monday, June 25, 2007

Britain and Italy do not Good Bedfellows Make

Although we're still reeling a bit from the loss of our furbaby, we had to re-enter the real world today. On top of everything else, the Husband had a two-hour dental procedure done, so I knew he needed something for dinner that would nourish his body and soul, without being too hard to chew. When someone needs comfort food, it would probaby be best to stick with tried and true, but I didn't. Instead, I decided to honor his request for spaghetti with meat sauce by pulling a recipe (yes, beloved daughters--a recipe. For spaghetti sauce) from Donna Hay's Modern Classics: Book 1. Ordinarily, I would make my own rich, flavorful sauce, but I wanted to play the Sunday Game of the Week on the Cooking Light boards. This game has been going on for over a year, and it just hasn't worked out. The basic premise is that a number is picked, and you go to your cookbook shelf (or shelves), find the book that holds that position, and cook something out of it.

So, Ms. Hay, being the British cooking princess that she is, had earned spot #47 on the shelf, the Husband wanted spaghetti, and there it was--Classic Bolognese Sauce. When I looked at the recipe, I knew better. I really did. It had no oregano. No basil. No balsamic vinegar. No tomato paste. In other words, it wasn't the way I--or anyone else I know--makes it. What it did have, that was new to me, was a cup of beef broth added with pureed tomatoes, to cook down and create a sauce for the sauteed garlic, onions, and minced beef. A final stir-in of chopped parsley, salt, and pepper were all the spices designed to flavor the sauce. I tried it. Really. Then I got out the oregano, basil, and balsamic vinegar and flavored away. I'm not even posting the recipe unless someone asks for it, because I just don't think it was worth it.

In the end, the sauce wasn't bad--it just didn't have the rich, thick, tomato-ey taste we love. I plan to mke a couple of other recipes from the book, so hopefully, they will be better.

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