Monday, February 8, 2016

My best recipe for Italian-style spaghetti with bolognaise sauce




Last weekend in Tokyo, living a #Travelife, we ate with some friends at an Italian restaurant with a good reputation that charged us a small fortune for a relatively simple meal.

I hadn't been very hungry so I'd skipped ordering a main course and I'd just had a pasta. I'd ordered the bottarga pasta and it was the most expensive pasta on the menu.

Scroll down to read more about my recipe for spaghetti with bolognaise sauce...


A PASTA I WON'T ORDER AGAIN.
AND ABOUT CUTTING CORNERS.

When the pasta arrived, it was nothing special.

Because I cook pasta quite a bit -- and I can cook pasta pretty decently as well -- it annoyed me no end to be served a mediocre pasta and to see such a big bill at the end, especially as I could taste exactly where they had cut corners to make money on a $50 bowl of pasta.

This was actually the second time in a row that I'd had a mediocre pasta at this famous Italian restaurant in Tokyo.


A BAD TRUFFLE PASTA

On my previous visit I'd ordered the pasta with truffles and it had tasted of nothing but noodles. To try and salvage the dish, I'd taken the butter that came with my bread and some salt and mixed these with the noodles.

So last weekend, someone said: "We keep going here because you want to eat pasta. Why don't you just make it yourself next time? You make so much better pasta than this."

This is my version of spaghetti with carbonara sauce
and it's really good, too...

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MAKING PASTA AT HOME
INSTEAD OF DINNER AT 
CHATEAU RESTAURANT JOEL ROBUCHON

So last night, I made fresh pasta with a bolognaise sauce instead of booking dinner at another fancy restaurant in Tokyo.

Someone said to me: "Book anywhere you want." And the choices actually included the three-star Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon in Ebisu, which is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. But I booked this for another night instead and decided to make dinner at home last night.

At the Ice Hotel last week,
living a #Travelife...

PASTA AT HOME,
LIVING A TRAVELIFE

Everyone who came over to my house last night said it was wonderful.

Here is my version. It's not really a recipe but a way of making a dish, and the amounts are based on inspiration. Or on how much is left in my fridge...



As always, I prefer simple but good quality ingredients over fancy exotic ones, and very uncomplicated cooking methods. And I only use Le Creuset cookware even if they weigh a ton.

I can cook most of my dishes in under 30 minutes, although this spaghetti bolognaise requires several hours for stewing, during which time you can answer emails or even write a blog entry.

INGREDIENTS FOR
SPAGHETTI BOLOGNAISE



Wagyu ground beef
Kurobuta bacon, chopped roughly
Minced carrots, celery, onion
Minced garlic
Echire butter
Olive oil
An assortment of very tasty red tomatoes, chopped
A little tomato puree
Salt & pepper to taste
Very good white wine
Very good red wine

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

1) Saute the garlic in butter and olive oil and then add the carrots, celery and onion.
2) Add the bacon.
3) When bacon is done, add the ground beef.
4) Fry the ground beef evenly until it is browned nicely.
5) Throw in the white wine at this point and let it evaporate.
6) Add the tomatoes and the tomato puree
7) Season with salt and pepper
8) Let this mixture simmer, ideally for two hours or even more.
9) Just before finishing, turn up the heat and throw in the red wine. Let the wine evaporate.

Serve with fresh pasta. Most people serve this with a pappardelle or any wider pasta, but I really like spaghetti noodles for almost everything, in my never-endingly delicious #Travelife.

Grate Parmesan cheese over it.

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