Stephanie Barrett, chef de cuisine at Harvard Square’s beloved Alden & Harlow, shares her veg-heavy version of bolognese — perfect for this in between season when you never really know what you’re going to get, weather-wise. It’s lighter than the classic meat sauce if you’re in the mood for something springy, but still plenty satisfying and filling if you’re still in winter mode. Barrett serves this at A&H over freshly made basil or tomato leaf-infused tagliatelle (with a few to-order flourishes) but you can try it over any pasta of your choosing for a hearty and warming addition to your March recipe repertoire.
- 867 grams ground carrots
- 91 grams ground garlic
- 31 grams ground fennel
- 23 grams ground onion
- 150 grams ground celery
- 30 grams chopped calabrian peppers
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 10 ounces white wine
- 36 ounces San Marzano tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 grams ground nutmeg
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- mushroom powder, to taste
- heavy cream, as needed
- lemon juice, to taste
- basil, to garnish
- pecorino, grated
- In your food processor chop garlic and Calabrian Peppers, set aside. Next separately grind carrots, fennel, onion, celery (Barrett uses a meat grinder, but a food processor will do the job).
- On medium- high heat, warm a large rondeau (a wide, shallow-ish pot sometimes called a brasier) and add in just enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom.
- Add in your carrots, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and bay leaves, and caramelize.
- Once your carrots have some color, add in your remaining veg and sweat them out until there is little to no liquid left.
- When your veggies are nicely cooked down, add in tomato paste and cook it until it has started to caramelize, and the color has deepened.
- Deglaze your pot with the wine and cook the mix until the alcohol taste is gone. Finally add in your san Marzano tomatoes (crushed by hand or with your food processor) and nutmeg and simmer for 1 hour.
- When you are ready to enjoy your bolognese, warm it up with heavy cream, lemon juice, torn basil, and a little more mushroom powder.
- Drop your cooked pasta from the liquid directly into the pan with the sauce and finish cooking them together to fully incorporate the flavor and really coat the pasta.
- Add in a little pasta water to marry it all together then once your pasta is thick and beautiful serve it topped with pecorino cheese and herb salad.