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Published December 6th, 2023
Creamy Bolognese perfectly tops homemade pappardelle pasta
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Bison Bolognese Sauce Photos Susie Iventosch

Bolognese or Ragu sauce? What is the difference? They both have meat, onions, tomatoes, herbs and wine. They both adorn pasta, and taste great with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, so they seem very similar. But, several years ago I learned that Bolognese is made with carrots, celery, and milk, while ragu does not normally use these ingredients. Also, Bolognese is normally made with white wine, where ragu is made with red wine. To me, the biggest difference is the use of milk in the Bolognese sauce. My mom never, ever put milk in her spaghetti sauce, so to me that was very strange.
Anyway, I started making Bolognese with all of these special ingredients, including a cup of milk, and my family and friends loved it. Great! But just when I thought I had Bolognese sauce dialed in, we went on a trip to Italy. If you can believe it, not a single restaurant we dined in told me they use milk in their Bolognese sauce. In fact, they all said they'd never heard of such a thing! So, now I am a bit confused. When you Google what makes Bolognese, milk is always in the ingredients, but not in Italy! Anyway . we love it with the addition of milk, which makes the sauce a bit creamier and a little bit lighter.
In order to make homemade pasta, you need to have some way of drying the pasta. Some people, like me before I purchased a pasta drying rack, dry it over anything they can find, like bar stools, etc. You can also roll the pasta out with a rolling pin, but it is tough work. So, to make that easier, we use an Atlas Marconi Pasta Machine, which rolls the pasta dough out nice and thin. They also make a pappardelle attachment, but I think it's too wide - almost as wide as lasagna noodles, so I prefer to cut my own pappardelle once the dough is rolled out.
I sometimes make my pasta with a combination of semolina flour and Italian Type 00 flour, which is softer, slightly sweeter, and lower in protein or gluten than American flour. Other times I use only the Italian flour, which makes the dough a bit easier to work with. The semolina flour gives the pasta a little more bite, where the Italian soft flour is a bit more tender.

Atlas Marconi Pasta Maker: https://www.marcato.it/en/product/manual_machines/atlas-150
Pasta drying racks: https://www.foodandwine.com/best-pasta-drying-racks-8385832
Italian pasta flour:
Bison Bolognese Sauce
2 pounds ground bison (or a combination of bison, turkey, venison , or elk)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced (I add these last)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 fresh basil leaves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. tomato paste
4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine (red would also be just fine)
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes or puréed tomatoes
1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup milk
Heat oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven. Cook onions, shallots and carrots over medium-low heat until onions are translucent, and carrots are beginning to soften. Add herbs and fresh basil and continue to cook for several more minutes until aromatic.
Add ground bison and cook over medium heat until cooked all the way through, using a fork, or a meat chopper utensil, to break up the meat as you cook it and to keep it from clumping. Once the meat is cooked through, add the tomato paste, plum tomatoes and white wine, and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for at least one hour, (even better if you can simmer it longer) to let the flavors meld.
Serve very hot over cooked pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta
10 oz. extra-fine pasta flour (Italian Soft Wheat Type 00 Flour)
3?large?eggs + 1 egg white (This can change depending upon the size of the eggs, which vary quite a bit. If the dough seems too dry, add a little bit more egg, and if it seems too wet, add a little bit more flour until you arrive at a dough that is workable - not too sticky, but not too dry. It's not an exact science, but more done by feel.
Mix salt with flours and place on a large cutting board or in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour using the bottom of a small bowl or a large spoon. Start mixing the 3 whole eggs into the flour with a fork, bringing more and more flour into the mixture as you go. If you need extra liquid, add the extra egg white. Mix until you arrive at a workable dough - not too dry or too sticky. When your dough feels workable, gather it into a ball. The dough will be fairly stiff at this point.?Knead dough for 4-5 minutes, dusting with flour as needed, until the dough is smooth.
Divide the dough in half and form each half into a disc. Wrap the dough discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to roll and cut the pasta.?When this time comes, take dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before rolling it out.?Now, working in batches, use your pasta machine to roll the dough to your desired thickness. Lay the dough out on a cutting board and using a chef's knife, cut the rolled dough (lengthwise) into wide (3/4-inch) noodles. String the pasta up on the pasta rack and allow to dry for several hours before cooking it.

Susie can be reached at suziventosch@gmail.com. This recipe can be found on our website: www.lamorindaweekly.com. If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977. Or visit https://treksandbites.com

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