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Bolognese and Alfredo Done Simply -- and Meaty

"So where'd you get the recipe, anyway?" I asked. My friend Robey was standing at my stove, cooking up a vat of what he said was Bolognese sauce to feed our families.

"The internet, actually," he told me. "I called my mom and asked her to give me hers, but she started balking - so I was like, fuck this, and looked it up.  Turned out to be great." 

He was right: it is great.  Simple too. So much so that a variation of Robey's Bolognese is becoming a staple sauce in our house. To avoid whines of "that's not a traditional bolognese!" from anyone who grew up in Bologna, I'll just call it Robonese. 

For which I am in Robey's debt.  Because no matter how well I cook a slab of ribs

or a jalapeno-and-cheese-filled burger, every now and then someone in

my house is going to request a meal in which the meat isn't necessarily

the focal point of the dish.  But in my world, a meal without meat is

like The Who without Moon and Entwistle, so a meat-based sauce is a

great way for me to get my meat on while tricking my family into

thinking they're eating a pasta dish.

This week I'm going to

serve up two meat-based sauces that will give you something different

to do with those family-sized packs of ground beef.  The Robonese is

simple, the meaty Alfredo more complex.  Both taste great on pasta, and

if I could put the Robonese in a baby bottle and crawl into bed with

it, I would. But sadly, the nipple jams with beef.


is possibly the easiest sauce to make, giving it a huge value-to-effort

ratio, and the recipe is easily doubled (I'd recommend doing so -

Robonese keeps well for days). Saute a medium sweet onion and a handful

of garlic cloves over medium heat until they're soft and driving your

family into a drooling frenzy.  Add a pound of ground beef, seasoned

with salt and pepper.  Add a can of tomato paste.  Add no liquids. 

Cook over a low heat until you can stand it no more.  Pour whatever you

haven't already fed on over al dente pasta and go to town.

Meaty Alfredo

Meat. Mmmmm, heart attack-y.  Boil water for your pasta, then start the

sauce the same as the Robonese, with onion, garlic and butter in a pan,

cooked slowly until soft and sweet.  Brown a half pound of seasoned

ground beef in a separate pan and drain. Cut a half pound of prosciutto

into strips and combine it with the beef and onions. Add a half can of

drained, canned peas and a cup of cream.  Stir over low heat until the

sauce thickens.  Drain your pasta and return it to the pot, pouring the

sauce over the top and adding a bit more cream - you want it coated,

but not swimming.  Serve immediately.

I love both of these

sauces for different reasons, but it's the Robonese that gets the nod

at my house more often than not.  It's quick, it's simple, it's

delicious, and it came to me from my best friend, even without his

mommy's help.

Bradford Schmidt is The Meatist. He's also author of the blog Bone in the Fan. He lives in northern Palm Beach County and actually does put liquefied meat in baby bottles.

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Bradford Schmidt

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