Melbourne’s Spaghetti Lover
Rates My Spaghetti Bolognese
This is a guest post from Sarah at Spaghetti Blogenese. Sarah has been in a love affair with food since she can remember. Her earliest memory is making pancakes every Saturday morning with her family, at age 5. Sarah’s blog, Spaghetti Blogenese, combines her love for writing and eating Spaghetti Bolognese.
Hi, I’m Sarah. I met Kyrstie at a blogging event before Christmas and instantly we connected – both new to the blogging community, and both passionate about our specialties. Kyrstie’s pride and joy being her kitchen garden. Mine being the pleasure I get each time I eat Spaghetti Bolognese. I have set myself a challenge of trying a Spaghetti Bolognese from a different Melbourne restaurant once a week for an entire year, in an attempt to find the city’s best. I rate each one out of 20 based on appearance, flavour and texture. When I started reading Kyrstie’s blog, I was desperate to try some of her homegrown goodies, and what better way than through my specialty, Bolognese?
Bolognese is very subjective. There is no right or wrong way to make one – it all comes down to a matter of preference. I like mine to be rich and developed and enjoy a medium balance of meat and tomato flavour. I like the acidity of the tomato to be counterbalanced by an element of sweetness generally found in a slow cooked sauce. I like the meat to be tender and quite fine, and I enjoy a thickish liquid to coat the meat. The consistency I look for is the kind thin enough to be mopped up with a piece of bread well, but not too thin that a puddle of soup forms at the bottom of the bowl. The meat and the liquid surrounding need to gel.
When Kyrstie handed over her Bolognese for me to try, I was delighted to see a very thoughtful care package full of delicious accompaniments – organic spaghetti, sourdough bread, shaved parmesan and little cubes of butter to spread on the bread.
When judging a Bolognese, I follow my senses;
With Kyrstie’s, I noticed straight up the colour of the sauce looked respectable – not too red (often indicating an immature heavy tomato flavour), and not too brown (indicative of tomato lacking). I then noticed the abundance of vegetables. I’m not going to lie, I don’t usually like visible vegies in my Bolognese. But, that aside I took a bite and was excited to taste Kyrstie’s labour of love.
First taste impressions – Pow! Flavoursome, and in the best possible way. The vegies which I was concerned about added a lot to the sauce – which was a pleasant surprise. I knew I was eating Kyrstie’s kid friendly version (i.e. packed with as many vegies as possible), but I didn’t feel as though they interrupted the texture or flavour of the sauce. They were super soft and cut fine that they blended in well amongst the meat. I loved the fresh herbs sprinkled throughout – basil is a match made in heaven in Italian cooking, and I thoroughly enjoyed its presence in this sauce. What I loved most about it was that it tasted so fresh.
There were a few elements I would have done differently, but that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I would have had more liquid in the sauce, as I like a wetter kind. Also, I would have seasoned a fraction more. Keep in mind that I’m very fussy! I should also mention that the Parmesan that Kyrstie provided was outstanding – an excellent sharpness which cut through the sweetness perfectly. Also, the bread was divine and that butter was beyond amazing.
Overall, a very tasty Bolognese with a lot of freshness and depth.
My score: 15/20
Thank you Sarah for your great feedback! I am thrilled to receive a score of 15. I know that 15 is a score that she has given to at least one of the Spaghetti Bolognese that is on her list of favorites from those tasted at Melbourne restaurants to date. My mum version has done well 🙂 It is my children’s favorite dinner and Punky says it is the “best dinner ever”, which at the end of the day is the thing that makes me happy. My children eating and enjoying food made with fresh produce.
As well as continuing to test restaurant made Spaghetti Bolognese, Sarah will be testing Melbourne’s home made Spaghetti Bolognese. She has a drop off scheduled for April 21st in a South Eastern Melbourne suburb (time and location to be confirmed and emailed to contestants). If you think you have a better home made Spaghetti Bolognese than me you can email email@example.com to register.
Note: It will be a blind tasting -the name of the cook won’t be revealed to Sarah until after she has eaten and scored all entries.
I am going to take Sarah’s feedback on board and cook up a new batch for April 21. In the meantime if you would like to know my recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese that Sarah tested I will be posting it here on Monday.
*Images are courtesy of Spaghetti Blogenese
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