I will start this section with a recipe of a dish that I dont eat myself. I mean I eat this particular part but not the dish it belongs to..its pasta! I dont eat pasta (as anything else containing flour) but the sauce!! Oh yeah I eat the sauce!!
Some background good to know info on
Sauces and sugos
(Italian) sauces fall into 2 categories: quick and slow. The quick sauces are uncooked pestos, or sauces made directly in a pan with wine or cream..it doesnt take a lot of time to cook them. Sugos is a different case. They require a long slow cooking to give them their depth of flavour and rich of texture.
The majority of sugos are started with a pile of finely chopped celery, onion and carrots called a battuto. When this vegetable mix is fried in olive oil, it becomes a sofritto which forms the aromatic base of the sauce.
When making a sugo it is important not to brown the meat too much or it will become hard will never soften again. Half cover and simmer the sauce very slowly from 1-3 hours. The longer it simmers the better it will taste.
and now Ladies and Gentlemen..
- 30 gr dried Porcini mushrooms (Please do not try to replace with any other mushrooms!!)
- 50 gr butter
- 2 tb spoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 small carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- 300 gr lean beef, pork or veal mince
- 50 g pancetta minced or finely chopped
- 4 tb spoons of dry red wine
- 400 g passata or pureed chopped tomatos
- 1 tb spoon tomato puree
- 500 ml meat stock
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 115 gr chicken livers, trimmed and very finely chopped
- sea salt, freshly ground pepper
Meanwhile melt the butter in the oil in a heavy based casserole set over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5-10 min until golden but not brown. Add the meat and pancetta and brown very lightly. Add the wine, turn up the heat and boil until evaporated. Reduce the heat, then add the passata and the tomato puree, mix well, then add the stock and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stir well, then half cover and simmer for about 2 hours, topping up with a little water to prevent it drying out.
After 1.5 hours, drain the mushrooms, keeping the liquid! chop finely and add to the sauce with the chicken livers. Stir well, add a splash of reserved porcini water, then simmer for further 30 minutes. It should be rich and thick! Season well and..serve!
It is really tasty! Bon appetito!
From Maxine Clark’s Italian Kitchen