My favorite recipes right now
Bolognese, shortcake, salad, oh my 🍓
Happy Sunday. Today, I am thinking about strawberries, so this newsletter is very berry focused. I also made the tastiest Bolognese sauce yesterday, so I’m excited to share that with you. It was divine, though I did need to switch into my stretchy pants afterward.
Here are the recipes I have for you today:
Pappardelle with Bolognese
Strawberry Shortcake, a family recipe
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Print-friendly PDFs follow each recipe below!
But first, a new Etsy find:
Ok, how much fun are these swizzle sticks with whistles? These are from the 1950s, and I just think they’re wonderful. I cannot wait to host a dinner party and let guests whistle for their refills. Though, I wonder how quickly I’ll need to confiscate them once everyone starts irritating me with them! Today, I’m going to zoom around on Etsy a little more in search of some pretty platters for the summer. I’ll keep you posted on my finds.
You can see the sticks in action here.
Sunday Pasta: Pappardelle with Bolognese
Servings: 8 | Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes
It’s Sunday; treat yourself to pasta! This Bolognese sauce has to be on the best sauces I’ve made in a long time. It’s one of those meals where after every bite, I exclaimed “now THAT is fantastic!” to anyone who would listen. One thing you may not know about me is that I don’t relish the thought of leftovers, like, ever. It’s one of my weird quirks, but this is one meal that I’m actually looking forward to heating up again for dinner tonight!
2 pounds 90/10 ground beef
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
4 ribs celery, trimmed and finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1–2 red Fresno chili peppers, trimmed and minced, or use crushed red pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
6 ounces tomato paste
3 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1½ cups finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (use the small holes on the side of your box grater; the cheese should be powdery)
16 ounces pappardelle
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the beef:
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up as it cooks, for 15 minutes until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and drain off excess fat.
Cook the vegetables:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and red Fresno pepper and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Brown the tomato paste:
Melt the butter into the vegetables and add the tomato paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes, mashing the paste into the veggies. Once the paste begins to deepen in color and stick to the pot, add the ground beef. Toss to coat in the paste and break the beef up with a wooden spoon into little pieces.
Simmer the sauce:
Pour in the water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
Add 1 cup of whole milk to a big glass measuring cup and scoop in 1 cup of the hot beef mixture. Once the milk has been tempered, add it to the pot. Taste and season.
Simmer the sauce, covered, for 2 hours. Stir periodically to ensure it’s not sticking. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Taste and season. It should be very thick. Make sure you cook it until very thick and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Use a spoon to mash up any bigger pieces of carrots.
Boil the pasta:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Cook the pasta until 2 minutes under what the package recommends. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Finish the pasta and bolognese:
Turn the heat on the sauce to medium-high. Once it begins to bubble, Add 1 cup of grated parmesan and stir until melted. Add the cooked pasta and pasta water and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes until pasta is al dente, and the sauce clings to the pasta. Taste and season.
Transfer the pasta and sauce to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Servings: 4 | Cook time: 30 minutes
This recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s grandmother, Grandma Warner and it’s one I make a few times a year now during strawberry season. Grandma Warner formed them into 3 large biscuits, but I do 4 smaller biscuits to keep it even. No need to change any of the quantities; just make them a bit smaller.
You can make them precisely as listed above and they’ll be delicious and easy. I use butter instead of shortening. Right before baking, I also brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle on a bit of turbinado sugar.
1 pint strawberries or mixed berries
1–2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup sifted flower
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening or cold butter
Whole milk, about 5–6 tablespoons or so
1 tablespoon melted butter
Pinch of turbinado sugar, optional
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vanilla pudding powder, optional
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Set aside a baking sheet for the biscuits.
Prepare the berries:
Rinse the berries and transfer them to a saucepan. Sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons sugar on top. Turn the heat to medium. As soon as the berries begin to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Lightly mash a few of the berries to thicken the syrup further. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Prepare the biscuits:
Combine the sifted flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the shortening or butter using a fork or your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly, the size of peas.
Work in the milk, a few tablespoons at a time, until it becomes a soft, sticky dough.
Form the dough into 4 rough biscuits. They don’t need to be rolled into perfect circles; the rough edges will crisp up and be better than perfect dough balls!
Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Brush each biscuit with melted butter and sprinkle a pinch of turbinado sugar on top of each biscuit.
Transfer to the oven for 11–12 minutes. The bottoms will be golden brown and the the top will be a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Prepare the whipped cream:
While the biscuits bake, place the cream in a large bowl with the vanilla extract. If you’d like a more stabilized whipped cream, add the vanilla pudding powder. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to the refrigerator until needed.
Cut the biscuits in half and spread a little butter on each one. Pile the warm berries and syrup on top. Spoon the whipped cream on top. Enjoy!
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Serves: 4 | Cook time: 25 minutes
This is a recipe I developed a long time ago, and it’s a perfect spring salad, though you can swap the strawberries out with nearly any seasonally appropriate fruit. Blackberries or raspberries would be wonderful or try it with diced plums or halved cherries.
It’s finished with a bright, herby cilantro-mint dressing that’s perfect for a warm day. Pair this salad with grilled steak, chicken, or scatter crispy chickpeas on top.
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