Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Favorite Winter Ragu

I work tonight, and this ragu, on fettuccine, will be my lunch. No need to spend $3.50 I could use for a gallon of gasoline on an overpriced half-baked pizza slice at The Big Hospital across Church Street Cafetorium. No need for a JJ BLT from Jimmy John's. No need for tortillas from Los Palmas. I can eat better than that, and cheaper.

A winter ragu needs to be heartier than the light sauce of summer. It needs to look north toward Bologna with its cream and butter and diced carrots. I eat this on pasta and on toasted Italian bread. I eat it for breakfast, for after all I work night shift when breakfast,lunch, and dinner
lose their moorings and drift into other parts of the day.

Winter Ragu

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves- diced or crushed in a press.

Olive oil

Sea salt- to sweat the onions, and then to taste

Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoons of Balsamic or red wine vinegar

15 ounces diced tomatoes- I use Fire Roasted Muir Glen canned tomatoes.

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 stick of unsalted butter.

Put 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep saute pan or deep skillet. When it is hot add the diced onions and saute them till they are golden. Add some sea salt to sweat them. Next add the garlic and the crumbled sausage and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Saute the sausage for a few minutes (no need to brown it), then add the tomatoes, the vinegar, and the diced carrots. Saute, covered, on low medium for 45 minutes to an hour or until the carrots are tender. Then add the butter and the cream and keep on low heat another ten minutes.

Serve on any pasta. Very good with spinach pasta. This amount of ragu should feed at least 4-6 people.

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