Two comments were posted recently that I think should be shared with everyone. (I realize anyone can choose to read all the comments, but that could, over time, become a tedious effort.)
First, a comment from David, a long-term business associate and friend (and very accomplished hobby chef), on my recipe for Bolognese Sauce:
Bolognese (or Bolognaise in America) probably deserves a couple of more comments. Grandpa Joe, Chef Batali, and cooking/science geek (meant very affectionately) Alton Brown have taught me:
1. Spaghetti Bolognaise is a dish concocted in the U.S. No self-respecting person from Bologna would serve that sauce with spaghetti.
2. Most of what you see served in the U.S. that is called bolognaise sauce is actually just a tomato-based sauce with ground meat added. This (as you can tell from the recipe) is NOT what it is traditionally. (I am not saying it is bad - just that it should be called tomato sauce with meat or something similar.)
3. If you see the ingredients for this sauce, note that tomatoes are a relatively minor element in the mix. Meat, other vegetables, white wine, and milk make up the main elements. This causes the sauce to be a faint pink or rose color at best - definitely not RED.
I couldn’t agree more!
The second comment is from Mark, another very accomplished hobby chef who I met through David. Mark travels to Italy regularly and has visited Sarnano many times. You may recall that my paternal grandparents were born in Sarnano. Mark writes about my blog on Preparing Perfect Pasta:
These are the steps I was taught, not only by my mother, but my Italian cooking teachers in Sarnano. Probably a mention of reserving some pasta water to help in the sauces is appropriate here. The starch from the pasta water helps hold your sauce together, especially as the heat from the pasta and sauce evaporate liquids.
Again, I agree totally. About a quarter cup of pasta water added to the pasta after it is drained or to the sauce does exactly as Mark describes. It is less important with heavy tomato sauces, but it can make a huge difference when you are dressing pasta with butter, oil, or cream sauces.
Mille grazie David and Mark.