Chunky, meaty Bolognese sauce made with red wine and served with spinach fettuccine. There are so many variations of this pasta sauce that originates from Bologna, Italy and Wikipedia says the authentic sauce has very little tomato in it. Other versions do not contain red wine mine does because red wine does something to tomato-based sauces that makes them incredibly robust. Some recipes use more than one kind of ground meat; often, a combination of pork, veal, and beef. My recipe substitutes smoked belly bacon for pancetta, the Italian dry-cured pork belly that is often referred to as Italian bacon.
Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add the ground beef, stirring to break up lumps. Cook until the meat is lightly browned. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the vegetables, and pour in the stewed tomatoes, and red wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for at least one hour until the sauce is rich and thick and has gone way beyond the soupy stage. Yes, that takes at least one hour. That’s part of the secret of rich and savory sauces the slow long cooking that allows the vegetables to soften and turn mushy, making the sauce thick and rich. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary, before serving. To serve, place some cooked pasta on individual plates. Ladle the sauce on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and grated cheese.
For some reason, chicken and macaroni salad is a fixture in the Filipino Christmas and New Year menu. It’s one of the side dishes that I’m planning on serving for the New Year family reunion because I feel it should go well with roast stuffed turkey and the grilled meat that’s already on the list. But I’m serving my chicken and macaroni salad with a twist this time. Finally, for an unexpected kick, a small amount of pesto. I did a dry run of the recipe about a month ago and the result was surprisingly good. If you want to cut down even more on the fat, omit the bacon bits.
Place everything in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt at this point; you can always add more later. Remember that the pesto and bacon bits already contain salt. Toss until blended. Place in a covered container and chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. To serve, sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese. Toasted bread brushed with pesto is a good accompaniment.