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Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

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Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby karadekoolaid » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:00 pm


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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:57 pm

Poor old Antonio, his Watford restaurant has shut up shop (a bit too sophisticated for Watford), and been replaced with an identikit pizza and pasta place called "Bella Italia". I am pretty sure they will be putting plenty of garlic and herbs in their spagbol (£9.95) :-(
https://deliveroo.co.uk/menu/watford/wa ... ia-watford

Just looked back at Antonio's 1986 book "An Invitation to Italian Cooking", and he completely ignores it there, neither spagbol or tagbol appear. The closest he gets is "Orecciette with Ragu" (Orecciatte are those little shell-shaped pasta pieces).

Bologna seems to have taken ownership of its eponymous dish, according to this recipe I found on my computer, maybe Antonio didn't realise:

The Classic Bolognese Ragu
With a solemn decree of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, the present was notarized and deposited in the Palazzo della Mercanzia, the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Bologna on the 17th of October 1982.

Ingredients
300 gr. beef cartella (thin skirt)
150 gr. pancetta, dried
50 gr. carrot
50 gr. celery stalk
50 gr. onion
5 spoons tomato sauce or 20 gr. triple tomato extract
1 cup whole milk
Half cup white or red wine, dry and not frizzante
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Procedure
The pancetta, cut into little cubes and chopped with a mezzaluna chopping knife, is melted in a saucepan; the vegetables, once again well chopped with the mezzaluna, are then added and everything is left to stew softly. Next the ground beef is added and is left on the stovetop, while being stirred constantly, until it sputters. The wine and the tomato cut with a little broth are added and everything left to simmer for around two hours, adding little by little the milk and adjusting the salt and black pepper. Optional but advisable is the addition of the panna di cottura of a litre of whole milk at the end of the cooking.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:54 pm

P.S. Thought I'd make some from that recipe, but wasn't sure what "Tomato Sauce" referred to, I had assumed it might mean passata, and no idea what "5 spoons" meant. So I tracked down the recipe on the Academy's current site, and it appears they've tweaked it again, as it now calls for 300g of passata, and the milk content is halved (although it now gives additional cream as an option). Still no herbs though.

http://www.accademiaitalianacucina.it/e ... -bolognese

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Stokey Sue » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:48 pm

150 g pancetta to 300 g beef seems a lot to me
I remember Giorgio Locatelli making on Italy Unpacked it to the recipe by Pellegrino Artusi, the first published recipe which dates only to 1891

No herbs, no tomato, one of the interesting things was that Giorgio made it in Bologna, and asked the people he bought the ingredients from what they would do (which was quite close to Artusi's version it turned out)

This version isn't quite his but much more like it than any other
In the end Giorgio did add a smidge of tomato paste, for colour & freshness

http://www.eatingitalyfoodtours.com/blog/ragu-alla-bolognese-recipe/

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:59 pm

That's an awful lot of meat in there - compared to that, the "Academy" version I'm in the middle of making is almost vegetarian!

Tesco do their damnedest to get herbs into the equation - for every plain passata/crushed tomato carton on diplay, there are three others with herbs or basil or chilli added.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Stokey Sue » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:19 pm

I buy the 3 packs of Cirio passata, three 200g cartons wrapped together, very handy (and plain)

https://groceries.morrisons.com/webshop/product/Cirio-Smooth-Passata-Carton/110583011

I think Giorgio used only 100g of each meat, but I can't be sure

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:02 pm

I made the "authentic" Bolognese yesterday. As I have too much milk in the fridge at the moment, I thought I'd go the whole hog, and include the ingredient which seems more like an afterthought in the recipe - "Optional but advisable is the addition of the panna di cottura of a litre of whole milk at the end of the cooking".

Basically it is a litre of milk reduced by half. I made mine using a pint of milk, so less than the recipe recommends. I reduced the milk while the sauce was cooking. The end product tasted like horlicks... I've been there before, as it's basically how Indian kulfi ice cream is made.

At the two hour mark, the sauce looked very good, a thick meaty looking concoction, but to be honest it was slightly lacking in the flavour department, and had a bit of an "undercooked" texture. Nothing some herbs and garlic wouldn't out right...

After the addition of the milk, the sauce became very anaemic-looking. It tasted very cheesy, even before I added parmesan. It still made a very edible plate of tag bol, but for me I've had better.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Stokey Sue » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:12 pm

This purports to be Locatelli's own recipe, the ragu looks right for my taste, but I can't believe any Italian would recommend so much ragu for only 3 people, surely 500g of meat will make ragu for 5 or more people?

http://www.tummyrumble.net/2010/03/ragu-alla-bolognese-from-giorgio-locatellis-made-in-italy-food-and-stories/

I might try mixed pork & beef mince though,

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:52 pm

I used 125g pancetta/250g mince yesterday, and it would serve three comfortably.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Gillthepainter » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:14 am

Very interesting Mr Bond.

I remember when they've said something slightly different.

I've seen both Gennaro and Carluccio on Sat Kitchen cooking spag bol the same way - saying yes, don't put too much in.
They both gave a spaghetti bol recipe as: 1 bucket of passata, 1 bottle of white wine, and mince (both beef and pork).

That's it.
No herbs - absolutely not. You can put in a garlic clove. Cook for 3hrs.

I love it this way. It's melt in the mouth, rather than chewy like the Johnny Brit national dish ;)

So you tried the milky version Sakkarin.
But are not hooked. Odd when looked at in simple terms, as pork or beef with cream is a great combo.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Joanbunting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:31 am

In 1991 I went to Italy on a cookery trip. This included Bologna - which is lovely. I was taught to make a ragu which included hand chooped beef and chicken livers. the start was a basis of finely chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Then red wine which was reduced, then tomato paste. The meat was briefly browned in olive oil in another pan then added to the base mix and seasoned. A sprig or oragano was added and a smallish amount of milk, It was then simmered for hours adding more milk and or wine as necesaary/ the end result is amazingly creamy and rich.

I was also told, etremely firmly that it is never ever served with spaghetti but a pasta od similar thickness but rectangular in cross section - i forget the name but as i can't find it here it doesn't matter! I don't remeber the weights of the ingredients, in fact i was never told any. It was all done by eye and feel and frequent tasting.

My sort of cooking really even though I can well do without the pasta. The ragu was mixed with the pasta which was not drained very thoroughly so some of the cooking water was included - hence the necessity for a thick ragu.

I mae it more of less the same way but I keep some of the ragu aside so I don't have to plought through the pasta. the GCs love it

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:04 am

Gillthepainter wrote:I've seen both Gennaro and Carluccio on Sat Kitchen cooking spag bol the same way - saying yes, don't put too much in.
They both gave a spaghetti bol recipe as: 1 bucket of passata, 1 bottle of white wine, and mince (both beef and pork).


But not with spaghetti - I've heard Gennaro get very excited about that!

Here's Gennero's SK recipe, no passata petty classic, adds milk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/classic_bolognese_rag_17689

Here's Carluccio's recipe - closer to Artusi's, no milk but tomato paste
http://www.antonio-carluccio.com/Tagliatelle_al_Ragu_Bolognese
Last edited by Stokey Sue on Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby karadekoolaid » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:20 pm

I was also told, etremely firmly that it is never ever served with spaghetti but a pasta od similar thickness but rectangular in cross section - i forget the name but as i can't find it here it doesn't matter! I don't remeber the weights of the ingredients, in fact i was never told any. It was all done by eye and feel and frequent tasting.


I think it`s tagliatelle, Rats. Tagliatelle is a pasta form that comes from Emilia-Romagna..... main city, Bologna.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Sakkarin » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:44 pm

I think Joan meant linguine, which is what I'd serve it with for preference! Last night's plateful tasted better with the 24 hour rest, served with tagliatelle for authenticity.

Gill, that "panna de cottura" is more akin to evaporated milk than cream. According to Wiki, evaporated milk is reduced to 40%, which is pretty much what I ended up with reducing it manually, hence the "horlicky" taste. We used to have evaporated milk on everything istead of cream when I was a kid as it was cheaper, but it really isn't a substitute, and I have a slight aversion to it, as it ruined some of the things I was given it with :-(

P.S. This book is fabulous for sorting out pastas. Its recipe for bolognese has veal/pork/chicken liver/pancetta, lots of garlic, lots of butter (100g for 1.15 kg of meat!), lots of milk (600ml).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geometry-Pasta ... y+of+pasta

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Joanbunting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:56 pm

I think you have it Sakkers. Shows how much i care about pasta!!

KK I do know it wasn't tagliatelli because even I know what that is. It's the one I reject when french restaurants try to serve pasta inappropriately with a dish because they can't be bothered to cook spuds!!

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby jeral » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:20 pm

Can anyone clarify for me how Italians eat authentic spag bol, i.e. as one course of a meal or maybe with salad given it's almost zero veg?

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:18 pm

Classic Italian main meal

Aperitivo - nibbles pre-dinner
Antipasto - cold hors d'oeuvre - might be veg or not
Primo - first course - pasta or risotto for example, cooked food but not a substantial meat or fish dish
Secondo - The main meat of fish dis, served with Contorni - sides dishes usually veg but could also be e0g polenta
Insalata - a salad course
Cheese & Fruit
Dolce 0 dessert

That's if you are going for the full Monty (and I have been served this fairly recently in 3 or 4 star hotels in Sicily & Sardinia)
Salads do get bracketed in with contorni, often cheese or Dolce, might skip the aperitivo

A typical set menu with some choice is
1 x Antipasto e.g. bruschetta
1 x Primo choice of 2 pastas or a risotto
1 x Secondo – a grilled chop or a piece of fish with choice of 1 x Contorno - salad or potatoes – 1
1 x Dolce - ice cream or cannoli or perhaps cheese or fruit

Our (skinny) local guide in Sicily confirmed that locals do eat all this lot at home, 4 or 5 course certainly at weekends

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Gillthepainter » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:09 pm

no, not those specific recipes.
This was way back when Greg Wallace or it may have been whoever was after him did Sat Kitchen. (probly AWTurnip - still love that one Sakkarin).
Yonks ago.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby Gillthepainter » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:13 pm

PS
I confess to never having made a rich unctuous Italian ragu before. Not even for a lasagne.

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Re: Spag Bol doesn`t exist...

Postby karadekoolaid » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:14 pm

My brother-in-law's father was from a small town near Rome. When he used to invite us for lunch (usually on a Sunday), we`d get more or less what Sue said: the classic Italian meal. Sometimes, there was even a fish AND a meat course.
Mind you, we`d sit down to lunch at about 1pm and not finish until 4.30, when the bottle of Grappa would come out.
That`s why I know that Grappa is absolutely and without a doubt, the very best digestive in the world :rudolph1 :rudolph1 :rudolph1

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