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Home Cooking 24

Marcella Hazan bolognese - oil / fat factor

connie15 | Oct 24, 201109:35 PM

Let me preface this by saying I recently acquired a copy of "Essentials" and, although I've only tried a handful of recipes, everything has been a hit. Her pasta e fagiole soup was a staple even before I realized it was a Hazan creation – the recipe was passed down from my mother-in-law. Her chickpea soup is sublime. And her tomato sauce with onion and butter is ... well ... pure magic. But I realize I'm merely reiterating what's been wisely said here before.

I just spent most of Sunday (yesterday) cooking down her bolognese. Doubled the recipe, but otherwise did everything as instructed. Used ground beef that was 80 percent lean/20 percent fat. (Per the Internets, this is similar to ground chuck ... ) Simmered, "with just an intermittent bubble breaking through," for four hours. It was definitely TASTY ... But I couldn't get over the amount of oil/fat that had accumulated. Now I'm no health nut, but the thick, shiny slick on top of the ragu was a little alarming. I spooned off enough oil/fat to nearly fill one cup (again, I had doubled the recipe), which congealed into a nice semi-solid mass the next day.

I definitely want to make this again. My question is, anyone else have this experience? And would it be a bad idea to change the meat to, say, 85 percent lean/15 percent fat? Or perhaps even 90/10? I don't want to lose all the subtle flavors that I love about Hazan, but am hesitant to ingest so much oil/fat in one sitting. Since this takes an entire afternoon to make, would love any input from expert hounds before my next batch.


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