Russ and Elke's European Travel

It's not only what you see, it's how you see it

Russ and Elke's European Travel is a small company run by husband and wife team Russ and Elke Beck, a professional travel agent.

Over the years we have experienced some fantastic places, people, food and wine.  Out of our love for travel developed the idea to create very exclusive, intimate and interesting itineraries and let our clients experience, taste, smell, touch and hear what has given us so much joy in our travels. 

Great Pasta Bolognese

Russ's Bolognese in process

It should come as no surprise to people who know us that we love food, in particular great Italian food. There was a time when our son cried mercy and requested any meal other than another Italian dish or variation thereof.

He stated that though he enjoyed our cooking, he simply needed a change. We were baffled that he felt that way since the two of us frankly could have merrily continued creating those lovely dishes which we enjoy so much on our travels.

Our son has moved out of our house since then and Russ and I cook many different meals now in the heart of our home, and to this day some of our go to choices are still traditional Italian dishes.

We would like to share Russ’s Pasta with Bolognese recipe here today, which is based on the great Marcella Hazan’s version. And whether it’s due to the fact that he doesn’t eat at home every day anymore our son actually enjoys this recipe and digs in when we cook it, even going for seconds. We hope you and your family enjoy it us much as we do. Buon appettito!


Pasta with Bolognese sauce (serves 6 -8 )


1 lb ground chuck beef

½ lb ground veal

3 carrots (chopped fine)

3 stalks of celery (chopped fine)

1 medium onion (chopped fine) 

1 cup heavy cream (divided)

4 cups veal or beef broth (divided)

1 cup dry white wine

28 oz chopped San Marzano tomatoes

Large pinch of saffron (optional but recommended)

1 ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

In a heavy bottom pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil until shimmering over medium heat. Add Onion, carrots, and celery along with a generous pinch of salt and sauté until dry.  Add all meats to the pan, season with the thyme as well as another generous pinch of salt and cook until just browned. Reduce heat to medium and add ½ cup of the heavy cream and allow to come to a bubble while stirring (this protects the meat from the acid of the tomatoes once they are added).

Turning the heat up to medium-high, deglaze the pan with the wine. When the wine has nearly cooked off, add 3 cups of the broth, hold 1 cup in reserve in case it’s needed later. Now add your tomatoes and the saffron. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a very slow simmer. Allow to cook for 3 to 6 hours, the longer the tastier.

As it’s cooking if the mixture looks too dry feel free to add the extra broth as needed. Approximately half an hour before serving add the remaining heavy cream. Serve over al’ dente linguini pasta or papardelle.


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