Ragu Sauce

I can’t say enough about making pasta and pasta sauces; yum is really the best word. If you don’t have time to make pasta, please buy good pasta, for the few dollars more it is the difference between a good meal and an amazing meal.

On Sunday it was all about the sauce, I wasn’t even going to post since I didn’t use a recipe. My mom and a good friend asked so here we go, enjoy!

At the end, I remove about half of the sauce from the pot, then add the pasta and mixed until well coated, then I put the pasta in the serving bowl and topped with as much remaining sauce as desired and shredded Parmesan. For the pasta below, I cooked ~1 lb. of pappardelle and had 1 quart of sauce to freeze.

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Ragu Sauce

Entrées, Italian, Pastas, Sauces and Marinades

Prep 30 mins ∙ Cook 2 hrs ∙ Makes Sauce for 1½ -2 lbs. pasta ∙ Difficulty Easy

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup porcini mushrooms, dried
  • ½ cup water, hot
  • 1½-2 onions, sweet (can use some red)
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 tsp. thyme, fresh
  • 3-4 tbsp. Italian parsley, fresh
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3-4 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 28 oz. tomatoes, crushed or petite diced
  • ~¼ cup heavy cream
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

DIRECTIONS

Soak the porcini mushrooms in the hot water for 30 minutes.

While they soak, finely chop the onions, celery, carrots, parsley, and thyme (for ease use a food processor).

When the mushrooms are done soaking, strain through fine strainer lined with cheesecloth into a cup to remove the silt and reserve the soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms with cold water and coarsely chop.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, melt the butter with the oil, then add the vegetables and garlic; cook until translucent, paying attention so that the onions do not brown, about 10 minutes.

Finely chop the pancetta (or, ideally, cut it into quarters and then pulse it in a food processor until ground). Once the vegetables are translucent, add all of the meat and increase the heat to high. Let the meat just brown, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

When brown, add the tomato paste, red wine, mushrooms, and mushroom water. Stir to combine then cook until the alcohol is mostly cooked out. Add the tomatoes, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring occasionally, to prevent it from sticking or scorching until very thick.

Paprika Recipe

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Another “Eat” Inspired Sandwich

We are getting ready for tailgating and are going simple (and late) today since the boys have been stretching their limits of sleep deprivation with our high school’s silly start time of 7:10. Earlier this week I had lunch at Eat in Ann Arbor and they had another bacon sandwich which I had to try; it was amazing as usual and I knew my family would love it.

I just got back from the store where I bought a fresh baguette, bacon (plenty of extra since the boys will steal some), baby arugula, Michigan Honeycrisp apples, white cheddar, aioli (maple bacon), and onion jam (roasted garlic). I set about to baking my bacon and washing my arugula immediately. 

I cut the baguette in half to build one giant sandwich, and I smeared one side with the aioli and the other with onion jam. 




And then I layered the bacon, white cheddar, thinly sliced apple, and arugula on the onion jam side, finally topping the sandwich with the aioli side. 









Then I cut and wrapped the sandwiches for eating at the tailgate. Enjoy!


Italian Panini

I thought I had already posted this recipe, but a quick skim reveals that I am incorrect. 

This was originally just a concept that my husband had last September; we loaded up a loaf of Pugilese bread from our local market and a sandwich was born. 

We wrote it up:

Italian Panini

Entrées, Sandwiches, Tested and Approved!

Prep 30 mins ∙ Cook 30 mins ∙ Makes 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf Italian pugliese bread, cut in thirds (laterally), reserve middle third for another use
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Sage, fresh, coarsely chopped
  • ½ lb. Provolone
  • ½ lb. Capicola
  • ½ lb. Peppered salami
  • 8 oz. Sun dried tomatoes, drained, sliced, oil reserved
  • 8 oz. Roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella, shredded
  • Basil, fresh
  • Arrabbiata dipping sauce

DIRECTIONS

Drizzle the bottom half of the bread with olive oil (from the tomatoes), sprinkle with sea salt and sage. Layered with provolone, capicola, provelone, peppered salami, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, red peppers, fresh basil, and more mozzarella.

Cook for 20 minutes on low in a panini press and then wrap in foil and cook at 300°F for 10 minutes.

Cut into 6 wedges and dip in the warm arrabbiata sauce.

NOTES

The middle third of the bread is unused, it makes a great appetizer with a bit of seasoned olive oil and fresh mozzarella.

Paprika Recipe

Today, we modified our own recipe and made sandwiches for each of us. It was similar…

I used sliced buttered olive sourdough bread, brushed with an olive oil-balsamic mix.

Onto that I layered kalamata tapenade, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, prosciutto, more basil, peppered salami, more fresh mozzarella, and last another slice of buttered olive sourdough bread, brushed with an olive oil-balsamic mix.

Perfect sandwiches after slowly cooking on the panini press. 

Play with your food! Enjoy!