Cafe Society

On the ranch with Elise Wiggins of Panzano

Last weekend, Elise Wiggins, executive chef at Panzano (909 17th Street), held a cooking class at Bear Mountain Ranch, home on the range to the Black Angus steer that ranch owners Debbie and John Medved are raising for Wiggins, who is using the beef at Panzano.

The cooking class, which also included a fantastic lunch with sliders, tomato and mozzarella soup and focaccia, focused primarily on Wiggins's recipe for pappardelle bolognese, which was also the star of the lunch. If you've got a pasta machine at home, Wiggins recommends making your own pappardelle, but you can also purchase the pasta dried from Whole Foods, Marczyk's and several other area markets.

Bolognese Meat Sauce Serves 4


1/4 lb pancetta, finely chopped 1 medium Spanish onion or yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped 1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped 2 tbsp unsalted butter 2 lb ground beef 2 lb ground pork 2 lb ground Italian mild sausage 2 freshly ground cloves 2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 pint whole milk Pomodoro sauce (recipe follows) Sea salt to taste Freshly grated Romano cheese


1. Combine pancetta, onion, celery, and carrot in sauté pan with butter and cook over medium heat until onion turns pale gold. 2. Add the beef, pork, sausage to the vegetable mixture (soffritto), and increase the heat to high; cook until browned. Sprinkle with the cloves, cinnamon, and pepper. 3. Stir in pomodoro sauce, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. 4. Add milk and season with sea salt. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 2 and 1/2 hours. Stir at least once every 20 minutes. If the sauce gets too dry and starts sticking to the pan, just add 1/4 cup of water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 5. Serve with pappardelle pasta and top each serving with freshly grated Romano.

Pomodoro Sauce Serves 4


4, 8-ounce cans whole stewed tomatoes 1 garlic clove, peeled and mashed 1/4 cup yellow onion, peeled and sliced 1 lb whole Roma tomatoes, squeezed of seeds 2 whole basil leaves 1 tbsp olive oil


In a saucepan, add the oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Let them sweat, but don't brown them. Once the onions and garlic are translucent, add the canned tomatoes, basil and Roma tomatoes. Simmer for 2 hours. Put the sauce through a food mill. Don't use a blender, because that will make the sauce too thin.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson