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A question about a recipe: Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese

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I have a question about the recipe "Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese" from Genius Recipes. I've never used whole nutmeg. How much of a whole nutmet would a "grating" be?

asked by Patricia Stevens over 2 years ago
8 answers 999 views
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Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52

added over 2 years ago

I usually give a whole nutmeg a few swipes across a Microplane grater or a small rasp -- only a fraction of the nutmeg will be gone when you're done. There are plenty of other strong flavors in this sauce, so I would maybe grate up to a quarter of it without worrying that it would overpower the sauce. (But I do love nutmeg.)

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Monita

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 2 years ago

I another version of his recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food...) he calls for a "pinch" of freshly ground nutmeg.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

For this recipe, I'd start with a half a teaspoon, taste, and add up to another half teaspoon. Or more if you're in love with the taste!

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

agree with comments so far. a little goes a long way. to the question you asked, nutmegs vary in size, so a full one grated will vary, but around two-three teaspoons. rarely is a whole nutmeg called for in a recipe, either as an ingredient or as a quantity. when it's given, it's usually pinch, or tsp amounts, even if you're grating it fresh.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

I make Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce, which instructs: "Add a tiny grating - about 1/8 teaspoon - of nutmeg, and stir." In other words, not much. I use a grinder which is loaded with nutmeg shards, and add gratings to taste. I prefer more, not less. Season to your own taste.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

P. S. I compared the food52 version with 2 British versions. BBC has Nigel only calling for "a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg," but the Guardian calls for "a nutmeg." I suspect someone made an error or a proorreading goof, which lives on at food52. You can start small (a pinch) and add more if you like the taste.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I agree with those that say "a pinch" which to me, is what a "grating" means. A few swipes. A pinch supposedly means 1/8th of a tsp or less. Pretty much immeasurable which is why the term originated.

When I make a few swipes on my nutmeg with my microplane, it barely makes an indent. For that particular recipe, I would probably do 3 swipes and taste.

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I wouldn't think you'd want more than a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of nutmeg in a Bolognese. You don't want it to taste like nutmeg. That flavor can take over pretty easily if you get "carried away."

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