Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cooking Bolognese Style In Bologna

While on our city tour of Bologna, we were told
that Bologna was known as "The Fat One" meaning
 that the food from Bologna is rich.

I am now going to share with you some of
"The Fat One's" recipes!

While my husband takes the photo (he also sat in on the
classes) we are shown left to right - me, Antonella,
Tonya, Victoria and my lucky daughter Amanda, who
got to come along.

Victoria and Antonella are friends of Tonya who
come from aristocratic families and love to cook.
They were so gracious to shop for us and come and
give us lessons for two days. 

 Antonella also invited
us to her home.  I will show you her home and her
kitchen later.

This menu I printed over the symbol of
Bologna taken from a picture I took of gates to a park.

We started with the Bolognese sauce as it needs to cook
for 2 hours.

Antonella and Victoria explained the various cooking
of some of the regions of Italy and said that
Bologna has lots of milk and butter in its
cooking (hence "the fat one") as they are
abundant here.  I was surprised how much milk
they cooked with.

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

In food processor grind
 1 carrot
1 medium sized white onion
1 stalk celery

Add to a pan with about 1/4 C. water and cook 
about 15 minutes or until soft and the water
is evaporated.  

Add 1/2 lb. ground or finely chopped pancetta

Cook about another 15 minutes until
the pancetta is cooked through.

Add 2 lb. ground beef (medium grind) and
cook until it is cooked through.  

Once the meat is cooked through pour about
1 quart of whole milk over the ground meat.
It should almost cover the meat.  Cook on 
medium heat until all the milk is absorbed
into the meat, stirring once in a while.
(This was the most surprising step to me.)

Once the milk is absorbed add about a quart
of tomato sauce, again just about covering
the meat.  Continue to simmer this for 
about 2 hours.  

After it has simmer for 2 hours add
salt and pepper to taste.

Once the meat got cooking we began the 
pork roast as it cooks around 2 hours also.

Antonella brought her pans and they were
huge restaurant sized pans.  My husband asked
about that, commenting on the typically small
Italian kitchen and so Antonella said that she
wanted us to come and see her kitchen the next
day and see how small it was, yet she cooks for
huge crowds all the time.

This roast was just "melt in your mouth" and was all done
on the stove top.  It also cooks for a long time so we
got that cooking right away too.

Rosemary Roast Pork Recipe

Place a large pork loin in a large pan.  You could
cut it in half if it won't fit into your pan.

Top the roast with 1- 8 inch sprig of fresh rosemary
and 1 clove of garlic, sliced.

(This is a picture of the pork roast we made when we returned.)

Pour in 1 quart of milk.
Bring the milk to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer covered for 2 1/2 hours. Add more milk if
necessary so it doesn't boil dry.  Check for doneness by
piercing with a bamboo skewer.  If it comes out pink
it isn't done.  I like mine to just melt in your mouth, 
so you might want to cook it a little longer, until it
pulls apart easily with a fork.

When the meat is done, remove the meat and 
let it sit to cool.  Strip the rosemary leaves
from the stalk and discard the stalk.  Replace the 
leaves in the sauce and then blend the sauce until 
smooth in a food processor.  Add 1 pint heavy cream
to the sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce until thickened.  Salt and pepper
to taste. (I added about 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper.)

Slice the meat and replace in the sauce.
This was so easy and so amazingly delicious.

Next we made the Cherry or Amarena Semifreddo
because it needs to freeze.  This was a delicious frozen
ice cream that you don't need an ice cream maker for.
I had read about semifreddo before but never made one.

Amarena Semifreddo Recipe

4 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
2 C. heavy cream
1/2 jar Amarenas in syrup

Beat the egg yolks with the powdered sugar
until well mixed.  In a clean bowl beat the egg whites
until stiff.  Set aside.  Beat the whipping cream until
soft peaks.  Fold the whites into the yolk mixture and
then gently fold the whipping cream in.  Add the sweetened
cherries and fold in.  Pour into desired pan.

Freeze about 6 hours until solid.  Top with remaining
cherries and serve.

They had a wonderful silicone mold loaf mold but
we made it when we got home in a springform pan.

(These are pictures of the one we made when we returned.)

We brought home a couple of jars of the cherries.  If you can
find them, buy them.  They are amazing.  You could use
any fruit filling to flavor yours.  You will notice how much
more yellow the one we made in Italy was.  If you have
ever used their eggs you will remember how orange their
yolks are.  That is the difference.  Mine at home was a
creamy white because our eggs are so much less intense in

This was fantastic.

We finished the afternoon by making the homemade
pasta - tagliatelle.  I had received the pasta attachment
to my Kitchenaid for Christmas two years ago but had
never used it.  Antonella had brought her Kitchenaid
and she had the pasta attachment.  Wow, was that fun and
so easy.  We won't be making the pasta with the hand
cranked version again!

 Notice again the bright orange color of the pasta
because of the color of the eggs.

We made the pasta with half regular flour and
half semolina flour which gives it a nicer, firmer

First the pasta was mixed in the Kitchenaid
then kneaded by hand until  smooth.

Then a small piece was cut off , floured and rolled through
the pasta roller, once at number 1, then folded in thirds
and rolled again at number 1, then folded in thirds
and once again at number 1.  Then we floured the
piece and rolled it once at each succeeding number
and finishing with twice at number 8.

The strips of rolled dough were then laid out on a sheet
and allowed to dry just until dry to the touch (15-20 minutes).

We then put on the pasta cutter and ran the strips through
and let them dry again in little nests until we were done
cutting the dough.

The noodles only boil about 30 seconds to 1 minute
after they resume boiling since the pasta is fresh.

Fresh Semolina Pasta Recipe

2 C. flour
2 C. semolina flour
6 large eggs
pinch salt

Mix everything with a dough hook in your mixer,
then on a floured counter, knead until smooth.  Cover,
let rest for about 10 minutes, then cover again
while rolling out portions of the dough.

You should use about 1 egg per person you are
serving.  The pasta is easy to freeze, just place
it in a ziploc bag, uncooked and freeze.

Here it is pictured with the Bolognese sauce and sprinkled
with Parmesan cheese.

The menu was rounded out with fresh peas cooked with
white onion and pancetta.  What a lovely side dish
that made.

We loved this meal so much that our first Sunday home
we treated our kids and the grandkids to the roast pork,
a seared Italian steak called Tagliata, grilled Italian
flatbread, fresh beans with pancetta and the Cherry
Semifreddo and everything was as delicious as it
was in Bologna!


We couldn't have had more beautiful and charming teachers
who gave us the flavors of Bologna.  This was only
day one, I will follow this up with day two's foods.

I will be posting this with


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. What a fun vacation Jacqueline! Thank you so much for sharing the recipes and your experience :) Someday I would love to travel to Italy and France.

    I've been meaning to ask you a question when you purchase your tablescape sets how many people do you normally have in mind? Do you get dish sets for 8 - 15 people at a time?

  2. You are wonderful to give us the gift of this post! Can't wait to try this! When we come home from Bologna I will already have the recipes! Thank you!

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing trip! The food looks beautiful Jacqueline, how interesting to cook the pork loin in milk! Might give that a try:@)

  4. What a special treat to go to cooking school in Italy! The recipes look devine and I will try a couple of them soon. Thanks for sharing with us.


  5. Fabulicious post today. I make some of these dishes, but never tried homemade pasta except in a cooking class one time, nor have I made semifreddo. I will definitely try both these recipes. The peas I make quite often as it is one of my favorite side dishes. xo,

  6. Love this post! I have been looking for a good bolognese sauce and am going to give this one a try. The semifreddo looks so good! I can see this in the near future too. Gotta make room in the freezer first! Thanks for posting about your wonderful trip!

  7. What a fabulous experience. I love you how printed the menu. How exciting and thank you for taking the time to post this!! NEAT!

  8. Soo jealous! Looks like an awesome time and the food looks great. :)

  9. This would be my dream vacation. What a beautiful meal. So elegant. I love how dairy (milk) tenderizes the proteins in meats.

  10. Now I can't wait to see the kitchen!!! WOnderful recipes from the old country (I am 1/4 Bolognese!) I am doing an Italian pork next week... I think they have similar inspirations and look amazing!!

  11. Those recipes certainly sound mouthwatering, yet simple! I'm surprised at the milk!

  12. Everything looks so great and so do all of you..
    What a fun time you must have had..treasured memories..

  13. Everything sounds and looks wonderful. I love the blue and white jar the amarenas came in. The dessert sounds heavenly. I will try the side dish of peas, pancetta and onions. I impressed with the homemade pasta and I am sure it tastes superior to bought pasta.
    So glad you had this neat experience. Can't wait to see your friend's kitchen.

  14. OK, I've printed this for myself and sent your link to all my cookologist friends. Congrats on a beautiful presentation. xx's

  15. That's amazing! What an authentic (and delicious) experience that would have been. I love the look of the fresh pasta.

  16. This looks so amazing, I want to make it on Sunday, thanks for sharing these amazing recipes!

  17. What an amazing experience. I'm seriously craving Italian food now! ~ Sarah

  18. Jacqueline, this is a feast that is extremely rich in color, texture and TASTE! Italian cuisine is my favorite of all time, and I can see you had just the best time!!! CHEERS! Anita

  19. This looks like so much fun and the food..oh my gosh, it all looks so good! :D

  20. Oh my how fun!! It all looks sooo yummy too:)

  21. The Amarena Semifreddo sounds fabulous but, you didn't cook the eggs? You weren't afraid to eat uncooked eggs????? It looks wonderful. It ALL looked wonderful. I could almost smell the yummy... Thanks for sharing.

  22. Drooling on the key board is not recommended - but so hard not to suffer hunger pangs while reading this! I'll have to try the addition of milk.

  23. It all looks amazing! Lucky you!

  24. Wow, That is quite the gourmet meal! What fun you had:) Of course the dessert is my favorite and it looks beautiful and delicious!

  25. What a wonderful menu and the milk is really surprising -- especially in the meat. Everything looked like so much fun -- a foodies' dream indeed. Joni

  26. What a wonderful post; I come fram La Table de Nana and these recipes are speaking to my soul. I am now priting them out.

  27. Visiting from La Table de Nana. You have a lovely blog! The entire menu looks fabulous.


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