Salty Pictures

On Monday I tried that Pasta Bolognese recipe I posted about a few days ago.

There's the recipe over on the left.

One thing for sure, when you make a dish like this, which takes 4 hours over medium heat, you really should have your A/C on. Next time, I'll turn it on 'cause I was sweating like a little piggie (was that an Alec Baldwin reference?).

It seemed at times that I was stewing myself. I can't imagine what it must be like in a commercial kitchen. Much as I like watching food prep, I'm very glad I don't do that for a living.

I followed Chef Burrell's directions (from her Food Network show) implicitly. As it turns out, perhaps too carefully. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I didn't have a few of the ingredients so there was some substituting but nothing drastic.

This is the ground up aromatic veggies in the pot. Yummy, huh?

I used one large carrot and a little of a second, most of one large Vidalia onion, 5 stalks of celery (it was kinda small), and 4 cloves of garlic. And, as per directions, a small handful of Kosher salt.

I put the mixture into a preheated pot with olive oil. Stirred it around a bit then left it for several minutes at a time. This stage is to start developing some flavor in the veggies and to get rid of the excess water. The salt helps with that process as well as adds flavor enhancement.

Here's a picture of my two substitutions.

I didn't have any red wine on hand so I used a bottle of white. I think it was from Argentina. Land of Fire, y'know?

Weirdly enough I didn't have any tomato paste. I didn't think I ever ran out of that stuff--but apparently I did. So I used the 4 Roma tomatoes I had on hand as well as some leftover tomato sauce and salsa I had in the fridge.

Tomatoes are very pretty. Such a lovely shade of red. :-)

Now if I'm calculating correctly, there should be a picture of the inside of my pot to the left.

If so, you can see the end objective of the cooking process. Once the veggies get rid of sufficient water, you'll start to develop fond on the pan. This is where we get the "big flavor" that Chef Burrell was adamant that we develop.

I must admit, the smells were quite nice and I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the entire process went. It did take longer than the 20 minutes that were in the recipe tho. I suspect I had the heat too low.

Once you've developed a nice fond, you can toss that cow in the pan. Here you see around 24 ounces of ground cow parts. Yum-yum.

Just like with the veggies, you want to get some serious caramelizing going with the meat. Big taste takes time, so get that thing on the heat!

According to Chef Burrell you should put another handful of salt in at this point. Personally, I think I had enough salt in that first veggie step and wish I had stopped there.

Nothing too interesting here. Just my tomatoes after being ground up in the food processor. Kinda pretty with all that vibrant red tho.


This is the sauce once everything has been added, including the wine. I've already done the reduction of the wine and I'm about to add the water.

By this point you can really smell a lot of aroma coming out of the pan. And it's a good aroma. You'd have thought with all that browning going on, some burnt smells would have developed--but nothing like that happened. It was a surprise to me.

Here's the home stretch. The sauce here was finishing up the water reduction that followed the wine reduction.

I just started the pasta to boiling in well salted water so that it'd be ready when the sauce had reduced enough.

That very overexposed bowl in front was filled with Parmigiana cheese from Wisconsin (I was too cheap to pick up real Italian cheese).

Here's the final product just before I started eating. The finishing touch, after the picture, was to sprinkle on some more Parmigiana cheese and a touch of olive oil. Yum.

Problems? That stuff was way, way too salty. I think it just needed salting at that first veggie step. Adding more at the meat and reduction steps was overkill. My kidneys were moaning with pain by the time I ate my second helping of the pasta. Very tasty tho.


It looks amazing. It really took 4 hours? Wow. That's dedication. Oh - and my dinner invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. ;-)
kenju said…
Yeah, mine too, and it didn't have all THAT far to go.....LOL
GA Girl said…
Very pretty food - sorry it was so salty :(
tiff said…
overly salty ain't good. TASTING is key. Tomatos are pretty salty, maybe that's where things started to go awry?

Be fun to try this again with the correct ingredients. I'm betting the paste would make a huge diff, as would the red wine.

Never heard the term "fond" before. Yay for learning new things!
SassyAssy said…
Looks yummers! Sounds like you had fun playing chef!!

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