Thursday, September 8, 2011


 Whatever you want to call this sauce; ragu, bolognese (although true bolognese has a couple more things added), spaghetti sauce, lasagne sauce, it's absolutely mouth-watering. Especially the next day!
This recipe makes quite a bit, so if you're not feeding 6-8 people, freeze the extra for a quick meal with the "cooked all day" taste!
Boy, the thick chunk of mozzarella garlic bread looks the star of that picture! Nevertheless, on to the recipe!

  • EV olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 sweet italian sausage, bulk or large links with the casings removed
  • 1 cup, about 1/2 large, white onion, chopped small, but not minced.
  • 1 cup, about 2 small ribs of celery, chopped small, but not minced. Reserve the leaves! put them in a small bowl of water and stick into the fridge until you're ready for them.
  • 1 cup carrot, about 1 medium, chopped small, but not minced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, about one fat Tablespoon
  • 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup milk, whole works best, but you can use half and half or 2%
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano, basil and marjoram
  • 1/2 fat teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of whole tomatoes. I like whole because the flavor is richer. There's less mucking around with the tomatoes and they're canned at the peek of ripeness.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • one dried bay leaf (added last)
  • fresh grated mozzarella and parmesan for garnish and for your toast
  • snipped celery leaves
  • your favorite bread for garlic bread
Add a little bit of olive oil to your pan, heated up to medium-low heat, add the ground beef and Italian sausage and using a potato masher, gently stir and mash the meats together as they cook. You don't want to salt the meat at this point, because the Italian sausage has enough for both of them right now.

Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring and mashing the whole time. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and tomato paste, and cook a couple more minutes, stirring and mashing. Now you can add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Don't add the bay leaf yet. That was a booboo. You don't want it to get all munched up in the sauce. Or maybe you do. I don't. So I fished it back out to add at the end, when I was done playing with my food.

 Add the canned tomatoes, carefully poking the tomatoes open, and then giving them a good mash with the meat.
Add milk slowly, stirring the whole time until the milk is warm. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, spices, sugar, grated nutmeg, pepper and maybe about a teaspoon of salt. Depends how much you added earlier. Don't taste it for salt  yet if the meat isn't thoroughly cooked and hot, which it probably isn't at this point. So don't worry about it yet. It'll be fine. :)

Now you can toss in your bay leaf.  . Be sure not to accidentally serve it to someone. :)  But don't fish it out when you think the sauce is finished. I like to leave it in there when I store the ragu.

When it starts to simmer good, turn your heat to the lowest setting that will allow it to simmer gently, but not so high as to start to stick and burn on the bottom.

Simmer 5-6 hours.
You can cook a pasta, like fettuccine, separately and add sauce and cheeses to it before serving. This was so good, we didn't add pasta. It was VERY filling without it. 
Top with grated mozzarella, grated parmesan and a couple tablespoons of snipped celery leaves. Storing them in the water in the fridge keeps them crisp and yummy. Just shake the water off and snip with kitchen scissors over your dish.

Now stick a buttered fat slice of bread on a grill pan, or just a fry pan you use for grilled cheese sammiches. 

Sprinkle with garlic powder and flip when golden. Sprinkle the other side and add a bit of grated mozzarella and parmesan to that side. To get the cheese to melt quick without burning the toast, I invert a pan over the slice for a few seconds.

Store the ragu in the fridge, in your pot covered well, and the next day, slowly heat up on the stove. 
Fantastic! OH, if you want to skim off the hardened fat, this is a good time to do it before it heats up. 
Us, we let it be. SO mouth-watering!
The third day, I froze what was left for a future dinner of lasagna, spaghetti, a calzone sauce, or maybe I'll add some white beans to it. So many possibilities!
Oh, before I froze it, I scooped out a bit for myself, added cheddar to the mozzarella and parm, topped it with snipped celery leaves, and had an awesome lunch ! By the way, celery leaves MAKE this dish. I am so in love with them. LOL
I think I'm hungry again.

No comments:

Post a Comment