Food & Drink

QLC Cooking: Bolognese-Style Mafaldine with Olives

bolognese

Photo credit: A Faulta De Lextin. Inset: Melissa Aquino

I could eat pasta every day without ever getting sick of it, and sadly I do speak from personal experience. Recently I purchased a handful of imported pastas from an Italian specialty store, including a few noodles I’ve never seen before. One of the variations I went home with is mafaldine, also known as reginette. The noodle is thin, like fettuccine, but ridged like lasagna. Usually a simple roasted tomato sauce will satisfy my carb cravings, but special pastas call for special measures.

Since mafaldine is a textural noodle, I wanted to keep the sauce understated but substantial. Ultimately I went with a light but salty meat sauce with a little more vegetables than a typical Bolognese.

The beauty of cooking, of course, is the ability to mix and match to your heart’s content and this recipe is no exception: you can use your favorite ground meat, whether it’s traditional beef, a blend (pork/beaf/veal, for example), or even a lighter option like ground turkey or a soy-based substitute like Yves meatless ground. Same goes for the olives: I’d recommend any sort of black olive like a kalamata, but my favorite for this dish is oil-cured black olives (often found in grocery store antipasto bars). They look like this – the more wrinkled, the tastier!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb mafaldine pasta (you can also use tagliatelle or fettuccine if you can’t find mafaldine)
  • ¾ lb ground meat (see note above)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp capers
  • About 20-30 black kalamata-style or similar olives (pits removed)
  • ¼ onion, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano (or Italian seasoning blend)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Fresh italian parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until wilted. Remove the cherry tomatoes from the oven and set aside, reserving any juice that’s left the tomatoes.
  2. Gently fry the carrot, onion, and celery with the oil. Add the meat and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Brown the meat as much as possible.
  3. Next, add the capers, then the olives, the oregano and the roasted cherry tomatoes and the juices, and cook for a further 3 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper(s).
  4. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, drain when “al dente” and dress with the prepared sauce, sautéing both together in the pan for about 1 minute. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.

Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6

By Melissa Aquino

One thought on “QLC Cooking: Bolognese-Style Mafaldine with Olives

  1. Pingback: QLC Cooking: Chef Gerard’s Red Quinoa Salad | Q L C

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