This recipe comes from my cookbook, Seasons in a Vermont Vineyard: The Shelburne Vineyard Cookbook. It’s an earthy adaptation of the classic Bolognese sauce made famous by Marcella Hazan in her 1976 book, The Classic Italian Cookbook.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup onion, finely diced
- ½ cup carrot, finely diced
- ½ cup celery, finely diced
- 8 ounces Cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound ground bison meat
- 1 cup Cayuga White, or other dry white wine
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dash cinnamon
- 4 cups canned Italian tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
- Aged Parmesan cheese to taste
- Add olive oil and butter to a deep, heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until softened and onion is translucent. Add half of the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are soft, about 6 or 7 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Crumble the bison meat into the pot and stir gently until the meat has just lost its raw color. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally until the milk has evaporated. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- After 1 hour, add the remaining sliced mushrooms and stir. Continue simmering for another hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over freshly made wide tagliatelle noodles or dried penne. Top with shards of aged Parmesan cheese.
- Serves 6.
Wine| Cayuga White or Marquette
For an unconventional pairing, try this dish with a dry, white wine that has a bit of acidity. You’ll find it to be a wonderful and and surprising counterpoint to the deep, rich flavors in this sauce. Or, for a classic combination, serve with a bold, full-bodied, red wine like a Marquette or Merlot.