After watching Stanley Tucci on CNN, "Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy", I have been inspired by each episode and the region in Italy that he travels to. This is my adaptation of the classic Bolognese dish from the Emilia- Romagna regions, Bologna. I took notes from the show when this dish or one like it was being made, then did a bit of research on the history of the dish. This dish is very easy to make and it does not have any tomatoes or garlic in it.
After a few blending a few recipes together I finally came up with my take on this recipe, Many of the recipes I came across blended several different types of meat, but the chief on the show just used one the type of meats, veal, so that's is the direction I went, I hope you like it.
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium stalks of celery, diced
1 1/2 ounces of dried mushrooms of choice, I use an Italian blend
1 1/2 cups of dry vermouth
1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of rigatoni
1 cube of beef bouillon, low salt.
1/4 to 1/2 of a cup of cream
1 cup of Romano cheese
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Rehydrate the mushrooms in 3 cups of hot water. Let sit for 20 minutes, drain, reserve liquid, and dice the mushrooms.
Place bouillon cube in 2 cups of hot water, stir to dissolve, set aside.
Place a large pot filled with water to boil over high heat, add a pinch or 2 of salt.
Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter, once it starts to bubble add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Make a well in the center and add the ground beef and brown the beef breaking it up into pea-size bits.
Once the meat is brown add the vermouth and simmer, stir a few times, until skillet is almost dry, now add the bouillon and repeat the same process until almost dry. Next, add the mushrooms and about half the reserved mushroom liquid, lower heat to a low simmer. Start cooking pasta.
Simmer the sauce for about the length of time it takes to cook the pasta, about 8 to 10 minutes. You want a sauce, not a soup, stir in the cream, cover and remove from the heat.
Drain pasta and reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the sauce, and toss to coat, transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with some of the cheese. Serve with the remaining cheese.
Note: if the sauce is too thick thin with either the mushroom liquid or the pasta water.