Monday, September 27, 2010

I have the perfect knock your socks off “Rustic Bolognese Sauce” recipe in honor of Columbus Day

Foodies, conquistadors & lovers of farmers markets, lend me your ears! There’s another holiday coming up in just 2 ½ weeks…are you doing anything special for Columbus Day? As most of my readers probably know (but the arm chair historian in me likes to point out), Columbus Day is an Italian-American heritage celebration that occurs the second week of October, every year since the 1800s. San Francisco was the first place to turn this bellissimo event into all-day parades and great food, until the holiday achieved statewide appeal in 1907 and Colorado made it a big ta’do.

Whether you’re in the Rockies or heart of Dixie, it’s time to get out your calendars and make note: October 10, 2010, a Sunday, and eve of Columbus Day on 10/11 this year, is the perfect excuse to host a family weekend dinner, using all the fixings you can procure at Italian-American heritage events in your community.

But you don’t have to hail from that part of Europe to enjoy. Do you have any Canadian friends? Columbus Day just happens to coincide with their Thanksgiving, and it’s a big National Holiday for Spain, too—so if you have any dear amigos, get out the tapas, a.k.a. “appys” and treat them all!

In addition to the various, special farmers markets that weekend, there are Columbus Day inspired store giveaways and special promotions/discounts (think espresso machines!) at Italian Markets across the land; I found one in my own Lauderdale neck of the woods (at Doris’) last year, and hope they do something similar for 2010.

You might also have some fun shopping collectible plates that bring out the explorer in all your Sunday dinner guests. Since I KNOW my foodie fans are all about the weekend Farmers Markets, I encourage them to peruse these ingredients and pick up the makings for this FABULOUS Italian sauce that can be the star of your family lasagna or angel hair. To make my Rustic Bolognese Sauce that originated in a Northern Italian city of the same name, you need: a great big yellow onion, bunch of pretty green celery, at least two carrots, 4 wonderfully stinky cloves of garlic, thyme, oregano and a bottle of red…if they got it.

Then it’s off to the butcher (or Italian Market where free espresso machines may be in short supply : )!!!) for the meat that goes into this beyond savory age-old Italian sauce; while traditionally its ingredients were confined to beef, pancetta, choice veggies, white wine, tomato paste and cream, Italian chefs have been known to literally “sweeten the pot” with a little rabbit, pork sausage and sometimes goose liver! My recipe advocates chuck, brisket or good ol’ savory ground round, and just as the Italian foodies love to do, I highly recommend leaving your sauce on simmer for as long as you possibly can—no less than two hours. Of course, a complete ingredient list, plus foodie friendly instructions are available by clicking here.

Pranzo feliz—Happy dining!

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