Private: Feel Good Fall Favorites- Now at all Zov’s locations!

If you’re anything like me, you like to spend the first few weeks of the fall season browsing through the produce section of your local market to see what mouth-watering vegetables, fruits, and other goodies have arrived and replaced the fresh, crisp summer sensations. It is these hearty items that are foundation to the comfort food our families get together to enjoy this time of year. Lucky for you, you don’t have to do all of the work!

My family and I have been busy at work in the kitchen in Tustin testing (and tasting!) all sorts of new creations for this year’s autumn menu! If you loved the flavor of the fresh Watermelon and Shrimp Salad or the Salmon Burger from the summer menu- be excited! This season’s feel good fall favorite dishes are full of tasty treats like Grilled Pork Chops with Fall Apple Chutney, Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Quinoa and Farro Salad with Grilled Shrimp. You will not be disappointed! Just to tease you, here are some pictures from yesterday’s roll out of the menu!

And just in case you can’t get enough- here’s the Pappardelle Alla Bolognese recipe for you to share at home with your families. Let me know how it turns out!

BOLOGNESE ALLA RAGU

This famous ragù is named for the Italian town of Bologna where it originated, and where several years ago I had the best version I’ve ever tasted. It was served at a charming trattoria called Pappagallo, and to this day I can still remember the taste, texture, and even smell of that sauce. I have recreated the recipe here in all its rich and delicious glory. Serve with pappardelle pasta.

Makes 5 quarts

  • 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 7 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 3 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, pureed in food processor
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Cook the pancetta in a heavy 8-quart pot over medium heat until the fat is completely rendered, about 6 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the liquid evaporates and the vegetables are almost brown, about 25 minutes. Add the pork, veal, and beef cook until the meat and vegetables are brown, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot so the meat breaks apart and the mixture does not stick to the pot, about 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is dark maroon, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the mixture loosens up, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, and 3 cups of water. Add the kosher salt, seasoned salt, dried thyme, black pepper, lemon pepper, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cook until the sauce comes to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water and simmer until the sauce thickens into a ragu, stirring often, about 1 1/2 hours longer.

Stir in the cheese, milk, and butter. Simmer until the sauce is thick, about 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme stems from the sauce and serve.

Do-Ahead Tip: The sauce can be made ahead. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, then transfer to five 1-quart containers. Place the containers in a roasting pan and surround with ice. Cover and store in the freezer for up to 2 months or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To rewarm, transfer ragù to a saucepan over medium-low heat, cover and stir occasionally until it simmers. Add chicken broth if the sauce is too thick.

Zov’s Kitchen Notes: For a richer taste, use cream instead of milk.

Bolognese is a bit time consuming and has a long list of ingredients, but the good news is if you plan it right, you can have this delicious sauce at the ready whenever you need it. I usually make a big batch, portion out whatever I need for dinner (it’s even better the next day), and freeze the rest.

Pappardelle is flat, wide pasta that holds up well with heavy meat sauces, and is perfectly suited to Bolognese. You can use penne or the medium size spaghetti as well. I also like using this sauce for lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, or any layered pasta dish.

Happy Cooking!

Zov