Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I am just about finished reading Heat by Bill Buford which is the authors recount of a year spent in Mario Batali's kitchen as well as a great deal of time spent in Italy researching traditional recipes and cooking techniques.

A chapter on ragu inspired me last Saturday. I've been making sauce for ages, but apparently I've never really made a ragu. It couldn't be easier. Or more delicious.

There really isn't a recipe, more a philosophy, which is slow cooking meat with a little tomato paste and water.

I cross referenced with Silver Spoon, the Italian cookbook that I also received for my bday.

My Ragu

3tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 lb hot Italian sausage, decased and crumbled
3/4 lb ground pork/veal/beef
1 carrot chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 small onions chopped
Small can of tomato paste slightly thinned with water
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium heat. Place the meat, carrot, celery, and onion in pot and cook until meat starts to brown and vegetables begin to wilt. Add tomato paste and water, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Cook over very low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add water if it becomes a little dry (mine never did).

That's it. So good. So easy. Served over fresh pasta and it really doesn't get better then that.

I'm eating the leftovers today for lunch. Very excited.


tvidra said...

If not too repulsive I also use chicken livers in my Ragu or Bolognese. Just take 3 or 4 fresh livers and dice them up very fine and cook these in the beginning after simmering the onions and before adding the tomato. It really does add a nice touch. It is also fun to tell your guests that there are chicken livers in the sauce.

JRo said...

That sounds delicious. Definitely going to try that next time, although I may keep it a secret....

Thanks for the tip.