The Perfect Bolognese by Colby Mugrabi

The Perfect Bolognese by Colby Mugrabi

When times get tough, just add pasta.
The Round Up 3.27.20 Reading The Perfect Bolognese by Colby Mugrabi 4 minutes Next The Round Up 4.2.20

Welcome to What Our Friends Are Cooking, where we call up our favorite people to find out what they're cooking while under quarantine.

We called on art historian and founder of Minnie Muse, Colby Mugrabi, to share her most comforting quarantine recipe — the perfect bolognese, and check in on how she's faring under self-quarantine.

I think we will all reemerge from this with a deeper appreciation for community.


Q: How are you staying sane?

Colby: I think it is very important to have a routine and be as active as possible, while first and foremost respecting my health and the health of others. Giving myself goals each day and structuring my work schedule to be as similar as possible to normal life has been important in maintaining a healthy balance.

Q: How has this situation impacted you emotionally?

Colby: If anything, quarantine has made me hyper aware of all the things in life that I took for granted. Whether it be spending time with friends or going to a restaurant for dinner, there are many aspects of everyday life that seemed so simple and now feel like luxuries. I think we will all reemerge from this with a deeper appreciation for community.

Q: Wildest quarantine revelations?

Colby: The most surprising aspect of my life under quarantine has been this crazy sensation of having no concept of time. Even with fewer distractions, a considerably less hectic schedule, and all of these extra hours to theoretically be productive, I find that the days slip away from me. I have been slowly figuring out how to grapple with this strange new reality, but still have yet to find the answer!

Q: If you could time travel back to any past gathering, which would it be?

Colby: I would have to say I would love to relive my wedding. My husband and I got married in September 2016 in the South of France. It was a picturesque weekend filled with all of our friends, amazing food, the perfect weather, and great music.

Q: Your ideal first gathering when this is over?

Colby: I hope by August we are able to get together in small groups for end-of-summer celebrations. My favorite evenings are always spur of the moment dinners, eating outside as the sun goes down. My ideal meal begins with a simple salad made from fresh produce followed by a summer pasta with tomato, mozzarella and basil, and homemade ice cream for dessert. I always love a colorful table arrangement and Social Studies' Doppio hits all the right notes.

Colby's Perfect Bolognese:

On her favorite pasta variety, Calamarata, named after its resemblance to sliced calamari.


  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 chopped peperoncino
  • 3 lb. ground meat (1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, 1/3 veal)
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup dry red wine
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and peperoncino and cook until tender.
  • Add ground meat and cook until no longer pink, then add tomato sauce and red wine and continue to stir.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese – stir until combined.
  • Cover and let cook on low heat. Check and stir periodically.
  • Serve over al dente pasta (preferably calamaretti or spaghetti)

Keep up with Colby on Instagram @minniemuse.