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.