Sunday, June 15, 2008

passa the pasta

All right, I know I promised some recipes. Let's talk sauces. I don't know about the rest of Italy but here there seem to be five main sauces, pesto, ragu (meat sauce) , pomodoro (tomatoe), funghi, bechamel. Once you master these you can make lots of great pasta sciuta (dry pasta as opposed to fresh) or what have ya. Of course there are some crazy sauces like sugo di cingiale (boar sauce) but as most of us don't have easy acsess to lots of fresh wild boar meat, we'll just save some things for local pride.

Now there are many varied ways to make a meat sauce. My dad once taught me an extremely complicated recipe that is quite good but as the mother of three small ones sometimes I can't spend the entire day on the meat sauce most of the time. (His is Bolognese style--but this one I learned is more simple and a bit more french. ) I think it is really neat for two reasons. First the vegetables are saut├Ęd in butter instead of olive oil. And second, no herbs. None. You probably could give it a kick of fresh parsley but it stands just fine on its own. The trick is timing and as always fresh ingredients. Now I make no promises as I have only made meat sauce this way here and the flavors might be different with American beef.

Okay my saucy friend,

Take one carrot, one onion, and one stalk of celery. Chop very fine. (you can even grate the carrot)
Saute them in butter on low heat.
Then add, one pound ground beef and one pound ground pork. (you can use just beef if you can't find the ground pork)
Then when all the meat is brown add one cup of red wine. (bring up the flame a bit here) and let it all evaporate with the meat and vegetables. When it has all evaporated add about three fourths of a can of tomato paste and some broth (or water if you have no broth) and let her cook at a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes while the flavors blend and the sauce reduces. Make sure you salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta sciuta, sprinkling parmesean on top or use as the base for a great lasagne.


Anna May said...

That recipe sounds sooo good. I'll have to try it sometime when I have the need and ability to use two pounds of meat.

WondrousPilgrim said...


i love how you call the sauce "her"

Emily said...

Yum! My company sells truly wild, wild boar online, so every home cook can have access to the delicious meat. Check it out at

Bridget said...

What kind of broth do you use? Not that I will ever make this yummy sauce, but that part of the recipe confused me. Beef broth?