Birthday boy and Bolognese

Today’s the day!  Adam’s 28th!

This is my favorite picture of Adam, of all time.  It was taken by our photographer, Carmen, the day after our wedding.  We had a big dance and dessert reception, and he looks so happy.  I like it.

(This pause is brought to you by a big bang from the kitchen.  I just walked in to see the birthday boy covered in chalkboard paint, with splatters all of the floor and kitchen.  Moral of the story is, try not to drop your paint bucket!)

So we celebrated with a bang today.  Our kind of bang, not normal people’s bang.  I took a half day at work and came home to cook a wonderful meal and dessert for my love.  Bolognese.  Chocolate cake with a satin glaze.  It took 4 or 5 hours.  I’ll be honest, if I was Mario Batali it would have probably taken only 2.  It was his recipe, that bolognese.  And it was so scrumptious!  Despite the amount of time it took me to finely chop vegetables, I still felt like I was a real chef.  If you know how to put a lot of ingredients into a pot, you can make this too.  And trust me, you want to.

Proud of that choppin!

Mario Batali’s Bolognese


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 carrot, finely, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound veal, ground
  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating


In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

(EDIT: We decided to use ground beef in place of veal due to the price.  We also used real bacon from the deli instead of pancetta, and I just chopped it up into fine pieces because our grocery store doesn’t have a grinder.  These are both appropriate and delicious alternatives.)

I REALLY recommend serving this sauce with Cipriani Pappardelle.  It’s the closest thing to homemade pasta I’ve ever tasted.  If you live in Columbia, you can find this at The Fresh Market.  Temple, good luck.  Whole Foods in Austin probably has it.


And, although this may look like a regular ole spaghetti sauce to the naked eye, it is way more than that.  Please try it.

(Note to vegetarians: You can remove the meat and still maintain a delicious sauce.  Try adding mushroom or other vegetables for a little bit more substance).

I love you Adam Bedenbaugh!  I have a lot of favorite things about you, and I don’t even think I could list them all.  I started this blog with an intention of doing so, and there are just too many.  But there are a few that stand at the top…. :)  Not in any order, just as the day progresses.

1. I like you in the mornings, when you first wake up (or when you are still asleep).  You smell organic and really good.

2. I like that you keep your whiskers long for me, and that you only wash your hair every few days to give it that messy look that I think is hot.  It looks really good on you.

3. I like that you read your Bible and eat your cereal every morning in the blue chair.

4. I like that you drive me to work and pick me up at 4 o’clock flat flat.

5.  I like how much time you put into preparing Com group lessons.

6.  I like that clean up everything always immediately.

7.  I like that you like to bake, play guitar, screen print, make things, write songs, build things from scratch.  You are so talented and good at everything that you put your hand to.  You also have really nice hands.  And forearms.

8. I like your taste in clothes.  Simple and clean, and a bit old fashioned.

9. I like that you always pray with me before bed.  You also plug in my phone for me, turn on the space heater, pull back the blankets, and tuck me in.  Even if you are crazy busy and take time out of your work or project to do that with me.  (Blog, just so you know, I am not a baby.  Tucking me in is a not equivalent to Elf or mommies and toddlers.)

10. I like the way you sing.  It’s passionate and sweet.  Even if the world thinks you need voice lessons, I don’t.

11. I like that you always hold my hand all the time.  Good days and bad days and regular days, I know I can always count on your hand to hold.

12.  I like that you lead me with equal strength and gentleness.  I can always trust you and count on you.

13.  I praise God for you!

14.  I like that you praise God for things too.

Happy Birthday my man!



4 thoughts on “Birthday boy and Bolognese

    • 6 oz of tomato paste. My original recipe didn’t say that either, but a different recipe I found said 6… and it turned out perfect.


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