What? You’ve Never Heard of Bolognara?

posted in: Cooking, Savory | 20

Bolognara is a smash-up between two classic Italian pasta dishes- Bolognese and carbonara. I suppose I could also call it carbonese, but I like bolognara better- there is something less awkward about it. It’s about the most non-traditional thing ever, and I don’t want to get bludgeoned to death by stalwart supporters of the old world, but it’s really the perfect antidote to the typical holiday fare gracing our tables this season I couldn’t resist. Shhh, don’t tell your Italian nonna, k?

Here’s how it’s done: make Bolognese. Slave over it all day. Sweat. Curse. Accidentally slice your palm to the quick when you use an upside-down boning knife to shove filet down the meat grinder since you lost the little shover mallet tool. Glug half the bottle of wine you earmarked to slosh into the Bolognese sauce because you officially need it more than the sauce does, damn it! Use bacon instead of pancetta because you have homemade bacon and the pancetta from Whole Foods tastes like fat-laced cardboard.

Apologize again for bastardizing the recipe with bacon, but secretly know it’s a pretty good idea. Try not to let the butcher know you plan to grind up his precious veal and pig and cow tenderloins to use in a sauce- he will shake his head and think you’re a pretentious little snob even though you’re wearing rain boots that very nearly match his hip-waders. Shake your head and ponder why butchers and fishmongers sometimes wear hip-waders.

Make bucatini with your handy dandy pasta extruder and spill a quart of semolina all over the freshly-mopped kitchen floor. Deliberate whether to re-appropriate the semolina back into the pasta dough or to toss it. Toss it after toddler Bentley and evil Italian cat Sogno who says “ciao” instead of “meow” both decide scooting through it sounds like fun. Leave the pasta to dry, the sauce to simmer, and decide cleaning out the refrigerator would be a good idea. Start cleaning it out with the highest of hopes. Spy the wine refrigerator next to it.

Give in to the practical voice in your ear telling you cleaning out the wine fridge would be wise and somehow more necessary. Clean out the wine fridge. Explain to readers that in this instance “clean” means randomly remove bottles, open them, and start drinking them. Take Bentley for a walk and bring two sippy cups. One full of milk for him, the other full of something equally soothing for mommy’s nerves.

Have a eureka! moment while pondering how to make the best Bolognese you’ve ever eaten- ADD A RUNNY EGG! Attempt to explain this revelation while on said walk to a neighbor you forgot was vegan AND gluten-free.  Wither at the sheer look of disdain on her face as you remember too late that she won’t appreciate your homemade bacon, ground up tenderloin, or wheat-based pasta just like she didn’t appreciate the time you personally killed a dozen chickens recently.

Race home, toss some duck eggs into the Sous Vide Supreme, come up with a catchy name, and thoroughly impress willing dinner guests with the word bolognara and the dish itself when you plop a perfect egg on top of their bucatini Bolognese.

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20 Responses

  1. I had a desire to start my organization, but I did not earn enough of money to do it. Thank goodness my mate suggested to utilize the mortgage loans. Thus I received the college loan and realized my dream.

  2. Sounds really REALLY good. Especially the wine parts.

    I will now tell you a secret I learned at the restaurant: shove as much ground up organ meat as you can into your Bolognese. It will make it awesomer. Just throw organs into the grinder right along with your meats. Take pictures and show your vegan neighbor. :)

  3. My (imaginary) Italian Nonna would be all over this. Bucatini makes her smile. GREG

  4. Oh, I can relate to suggesting things (perhaps even sending recipes by email) that might disgust and/or kill my friends and family. I think I may have suggested similar things to your neighbor. Sigh.

    I think what I need to do is come over and try to convince your neighbor that you, indeed, do not just hear Charlie Brown grown-up voices every time she talks. I’ll also offer to eat her portion of Bolognara. Because I’m a team player that way.

  5. As born and raised Italian like Sogno, I had so much fun reading this post. And I would not be scared to tell my nonni about this recipe. You have no idea how much we bastardize both bolognese and carbonara in Italy too. Oh and no, I don’t buy pancetta at Whole Foods!

  6. A day in the life of the sous vide ninja.
    I definitely think I like reading about it more than I would living it. I’m glad your food looks perfectly calm but you admit to the chaos that went into making it. Love that.
    If your bacon makes whole foods pancetta taste like cardbord, I must have your bacon.
    I should poke around here. Do you have a recipe for it on here or is it top secret?
    Of course, I have no access to a butcher. Darn Hawaii.

  7. Anything with an egg on top of it is good. Tell the Vegan you thought she said she was a Veterinarian and you know how much Vets love pasta, pork and eggs.

  8. Wow!!! What an awesome, highly entertaining, devine-sounding post!! A great idea.

  9. Sounds wonderful Linda. I’ve long been a fan of carbonara as well as Bolognese- looks to me like a match made in heaven.


  10. Best post yet. This makes me happy.

  11. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pamela, Linda M Nicholson. Linda M Nicholson said: {New Blog Post} What? You've never heard of Bolognara? http://t.co/Ex3pYfx [...]

  12. That reminds me. I MUST clean out my wine fridge…again. Thanks Linda!

    Linda Reply:

    @My Man’s Belly, It really is a MUST!

  13. Carbonese sounds like peking duck to me. Love the bolognara, I’m truly impressed!

    Linda Reply:

    @Jun Belen, Ha! Glad I went with bolognara then.

  14. Oh Salty, you had at me a cat that says “ciao”. I think this franken-bolog-nara is absolutely genius because after all, it can be scientifically proven that bacon and runny egg make anything tastes better. Maybe I should write a paper on this…

    Linda Reply:

    @angi, he really does meow ciao instead of meow- he’s born and bred Italiano…

  15. Oh. I love this. All the swearing is worth it!

    Linda Reply:

    @Belinda @zomppa, glad you can sift through my neurotic voice:)

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