For the Love of Dove Bolognese

I love meat. I love poultry. I love seafood. Yum, yum, yum. What I don’t love is killing things. In fact, I don’t ever kill things. I always rescue bees from drowning when I’m in the pool. Growing up I made my mom or dad capture spiders from my room and take them out side. I even feel really guilty when I know I have stepped on an ant. In fact, a couple of weeks ago we had an ant infestation that just so happened to be near my SHOES!!!! Seriously ants… my shoes? I knew I had to get rid of them but I didn’t have the heart to kill them. So I had to recruit Lish to do the job.

While I do not love killing things, Blake does. He is a hunter through and through. He literally counts down the months, weeks, days, minutes and seconds till hunting season starts. Yes, he actually posted the seconds until hunting season as his gmail status.

Even though I do not like to kill things, I do like to cook things. So during hunting season, Blake and I are a perfect match. He kills the things, I cook the things.

This week Blake brought me lots and lots of dove. It is hard enough to make a dish you have never made before, but it is even more difficult to cook with an ingredient you have never had before. Luckily Blake was there to guide me through it. He even let me borrow one of his recipes.

Now, do I think you are going to read this and get in your kitchen and cook some dove? Hell no. But, I’m going to share it with you anyway. You will read it and you will like it!

We had Blake’s dove version of a BLT with an Angela twist for an appetizer.

For the main course we had a fresh salad, garlic bread and a Bolognese with dove.

Basically, an Italian meal full of dove.

Oh ya, and I got a great facial from the pasta water...

Get your head out of the gutter.

Love and Beer Floats

Dove BLT's
16 dove breasts
8 ounces pancetta
8 ounces mozzarella
2 large tomatoes
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
Salt and Pepper

Wrap the dove breasts with strips of pancetta and secure with a toothpick. Grill for 3 minutes on a side. Be very careful not to overcook. Meanwhile chop the mozzarella and tomatoes in bit size pieces. Put on a plate with whole basil leaves. When the doves are done have your guests compose their own mini "blt's" on the toothpick by adding a basil leaf, a piece of tomato and a piece of mozzarella. Enjoy!

Bolognese (over your favorite pasta)
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
1 1/2 pound ground pork
1 1/2 pound ground beef
14 dove breasts sliced (optional)
2 cups milk
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dry tagiatelle pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Fresh ricotta cheese

Reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes until tender, drain and coarsely chop. Puree the mushrooms, pancetta, onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic, together in a blender. In a heavy-bottomed pot add olive oil, bay leaves, herbs and cook gently until fragrant, then add vegetable puree and continue to cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Raise the heat a bit and add the ground pork and beef; brown until the meat is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring now and then, until the sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper. When you are ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente"). Drain the pasta well and toss with the Bolognese sauce. Serve with a good scoop of fresh ricotta cheese and garnish with some shredded basil, grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil.