Friday, November 16, 2012

chunky ragu

warm and comforting
There's nothing like a bowl of pasta to warm your soul and fill your tummy up on a cold day.  It's such a comfort food - this recipe requires a bit of time to allow the ingredients to marry together but it's definitely worth the wait.  You can use any type of pasta on hand, but I find with the chunkiness of the sauce a pasta like farfalle or penne works best.  For this recipe, I didn't use garlic but feel free to add a clove or two when you are sauteing the vegetables.

what you need:
*serves 4-6
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • ~450 g lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 large can of diced san marzano tomatoes
  • 3 portabello mushrooms
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 large jalapeno
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
what to do:
  1. In a large skillet or cast iron pan, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove and save the fat rendered.
  2. Prepare vegetables by finely dicing them all to about the same size.  Use the jalapeno seeds if you like more heat.  Chop up the bacon as well.                                                                 
  3. Put a little canola oil in your pan (about 1 tsp) - and lightly brown the ground beef on medium heat.  Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper.  Break up the meat using a wooden spoon.  Remove cooked beef from pan.
  4. Using the same pan, return the bacon fat and then add onions, carrots, celery, and jalapeno.  Once the veggies soften a little (about 5 minutes), add the mushrooms and continue to saute until they shrink in size, about 5 more minutes.  
  5. Add the beef, canned tomatoes, bacon, bay leaf, oregano, water, and some salt and pepper.  Put a lid on the pan.  When the sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low to simmer for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove bay leaf before serving, and taste to adjust salt/pepper if required.  Serve with your favourite pasta and top with freshly shaved parmesan.  Enjoy!

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