A week in images: days 37 & 38

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March 5, 2013 by allsho

I have the impression that people outside Italy like Italian food without having a clear idea of what we actually eat over here.

For example, the so-called “spaghetti with meatballs”. I have no idea where it came from. Maybe it’s some Italians living abroad who tried to get the same taste of what they used to enjoy in their homeland using whatever ingredients they can find where they were or spending the little time they could spare for cooking.

I can assure you that I’ve never met “spaghetti with meatballs” in Italy.

The only thing I can imagine being (distantly) similar is pasta with ragù alla bolognese.

Now again: Bologna is a city, a large one too, and not some type of cold cuts, although it’s the main city in a region that produces loads of cold cuts of different types, including Parma ham (Parma is about 80 kms from Bologna, and is another town in the same region: you can googlemap it).

Bolognese is the adjective referring to such city, and ragù alla bolognese (or bolognaise, if for some weird reason you prefer French wording for the same Italian stuff) is a tomato sauce which is actually rich in meat.

So last night I decided to prepare some ragù.

How? Well, it’s easy: I chopped carrots, celery and onions (which is not an easy task in the middle of the night when the rest of the family is sleeping) and then I sautéd them in a pot with some olive oil (I suspect the original recipe says butter, but I prefer oil all the time). For the sake of measurability, I’d say one onion, two stems of celery, two carrots, five spoonfuls of olive oil.

Home sweet home, yesterday.

Home sweet home, yesterday.

Then, when the vegetables were softer, the onions in particular, I added unseasoned mixed beef and pork minced meat. If you have raw unseasoned sausage, that can go instead of pork minced meat. Overall I used about 600 g of meat.

When the meat changed its colour, I added a glass of wine (red wine is fine), some vegetable stock, and a can of tomato sauce. I said sauce: not ketchup. Nor any other seasoned tomato stuff. Pure tomato sauce, like tomatoes boiled and ground or chopped.

A pinch of salt, black pepper, sugar (they say it’s good for reducing acidity, I never use it though and my stomach feels perfectly well) and then I let it boil covered on a small fire for a couple of hours, paying attention that it doesn’t dry up too much.

When it was time, I switched the fire off and went, finally, to bed.

I use it on normal pasta, not necessarily spaghetti. Today it was fusilli, that kind of stuff that reminds of a tire-bouchon’s screw.

And this was the result, today.

Home sweet home, today.

Home sweet home, today.

As you can see, my #1 enjoyed it. I should probably have been faster in extracting my camera though.

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