"Come on, not even with a little bread?"

So, there is nothing I love more than pasta, as you will soon learn about me. But second to that (after my husband) is Emeril. So of course, I tried a recipe for Pasta Bolognese from Emeril. Shout out to all you non-red-meat-eaters out there — I tried with turkey and skipped the pancetta. This sauce is heavy for sure. And it’s more tomato-y than a typical Bolognese sauce. But it was delicious. In theory…

Here’s the deal: the recipe called for nutmeg and cinnamon. Which I thought was cool at first, but once I started cooking it, I could not deal with it. So I get it, a huge aspect of taste is smell. I was getting conflicting sensory messages by the tomato dish smelling like pumpkin pie, but tasting savory. Seriously, nutmeg and cinnamon can only go in pumpkin pies? I guess for me, that’s the deal. And honestly, for the purposes of developing your palette, that’s perfectly fine, if it helps you identify smells and hone in on what you like. When you’re tasting things from now on, try to remember what the food smells and tastes like, and the way it feels in your mouth (the “mouthfeel”). When eating a cheese or tasting wine, it helps to build your vocabulary. You’ll find that a vegetarian Parmigiano-Reggiano reminds you a little of asparagus. Or the Tomme Crayeuse you’re eating tastes and smells like mushrooms. That is, if you eat asparagus and mushrooms…Or you can identify the “dark fruit” in red wines as blackberries. Ever wonder how people do that? And why you’re not smelling the same thing? It’s because you have to build up food memory so you can reference it later. Start really making your eating an experience so that you can remember and make associations later.

Long story short on the Bolognese: I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have, and as is typically the case with me and leftovers, it sat in the fridge until it was beyond being saved. I’m terrible, I know. Side note: I re-made the sauce without the cinnamon and nutmeg and it was perfect.

~Dana

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