This Bison Bolognese recipe is one that has been re-worked, re-done, re-photographed about a hundred times over on the blog. It started out as “Not your Momma’s Spaghetti Sauce” because it was adapted from my very own Momma.
Of course, I put my own twists and spins on it and my Mom insisted hers was always better (it was). We differed on a lot of things when cooking, she was Mrs. Convenient and I was Ms. Everything Has to be Done the Long Way. You always want home cooking to taste like your Mom’s. Hers was store bought tomato sauce, mine has fresh roasted tomatoes. She would never put wine in her sauce and mine the more wine the better.
No matter what we differed on we both bonded over a shared love for cooking. We’d sit together, sip our coffee and watch Food Network together. Laughing about how Giada says “Spaghetti” or how Guy’s spray tanner is getting a little too neon. These were special times we shared.
My Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 2 in August 2013. She battled, she fought hard, doing everything to ensure this was just a chapter in her life and it never defined her. She found remission that following Spring. As the flowers bloomed she did as well. Her energy was back, her hair, her scars were healing and there was a new hope.
May 2014, I will never forget the phone call. My Mom, strong, brave, a faithful woman was diagnosed with Acute Ampullary Cancer Stage 4. Unphased she dove right back into treatment. This cancer did not define her and it never slowed her down.
It’s a tough time for me to think about because I was in San Francisco and she was in Montana. A thousand miles apart. We would spend hours talking on the phone, she always wanted to know what was going on in my life and we would share the recipes that we were currently making. She would always ask me questions like “What do I do with Eggplant” or “How do I prepare Fennel?” I knew she would never cook it my way but she listened and took notes the way a Mother does. Always encouraging me and reassuring me to stay in California and keep pursuing my dreams.
My Mom lost her battle in September 2015. I spent the last few months with her sitting with her, sipping coffee, and watching Food Network. Stocking her fridge with dishes she craved. One of the last things I cooked for her was her Spaghetti Bolognese. The way she taught me.
As her Heaven Day approaches and with every day that passes I am constantly reminded of her. Her faith, love for others, and the unwavering support for her family. My Mom left a legacy of love.
If Lisa were here right now she would say, “Ride your bike until you feel the wind in your hair; laugh until your sides hurt and even then get in some more; hold your kids tight and read them a book; teach the world something new; stick up for the underdog; make a good campfire and enjoy the night; root for the home team like the Montana Griz or the Fort Benton Longhorns; say ‘hi’ to your neighbor; don’t be afraid to be sentimental; smell the lilacs and the peonies! Embrace the beauty of life and love.”
Life is short, so eat pasta and drink wine.
I am constantly making this meal so you may see adaptions on my Instagram. Picking your pasta is purely choice. Spaghetti, penne, shells. Whatever you have on hand is perfect and will work with this sauce. Go with what you feel because there is no wrong answer when it comes to pasta!