Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Festival Ragu ( Ragù del Festività)

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It may look like a chili, but this is a sauce.  You may remember a couple weeks ago I made a Tuscan Ragu Sauce.  If you see the Tuscan ragu photo to the right, you notice that the sauce is mostly tomato sauce with some meat.

On celebration days, the ratio is reversed, LOTS of meat with less sauce.  Italian grandmothers would view this as an incredible indulgence.  Only the wealthy would ever use Festival  Ragu ( Ragù del Festività) as a sauce for pasta.

Instead this is used in dishes.  


Much as you can not have a chicken unless you have an egg first (wait, isn't that the other way around???)... Anyway, baby steps.  You can not have that rich heavy indulgent dish to the right without first being able to make a rich thick meat heavy sauce for your own festival...

But don't worry, I'll be posting my Lasagna recipe tomorrow (It ain't your mama's lasagna... It's your Italian Grandmother's).

At some point soon I will make another batch, strain out the liquid even more and make a batch of meat stuffed Ravioli.  Italian grandmothers who plan ahead make a BIG batch of this.  They could use half as the meat and sauce base for their lasagna.  Then strain out most of the liquid from the remaining half and use that as a pasta sauce.  Then the meat that was left from the straining becomes a ravioli.  

Me, I used my entire batch for my lasagna (come back tomorrow for details).  Someday I hope to be as organized as an Italian Grandmother.

OK, Here's what I did...

Festival Ragu 
(Ragù del Festività)

  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 1 Medium Carrot, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped (For the Soffritto)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced (for the Soffritto
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound ground Sausage
  • 1 TBS Fresh Oregano chopped
  • 1 TBS Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1TBS Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Dry red Wine to deglaze the pan
  • 4 Cups Tuscan ragu or Herb Tomato Sauce or a store bought tomato sauce light on meat (you are going to add your own.
  • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
  • A couple pinches of Salt
  • Several turns of a Pepper Grinder
Cooking Directions
  1. First, make the Soffritto... In a Large heavy bottomed skillet, over medium heat, bring 2 TBS Olive Oil to temperature.
  2. Add the Onion, Carrot and Celery and saute for 5 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  3. Add the Garlic and Parsley and saute for one more minute.
  4. Add the beef and pork to the skillet WITH the soffritto and cook until just brown. Break up the meat to tiny pieces as it browns. the drippings from the meat are absorbed into the soffritto, flavoring even more. If there is any pooling drippings, go ahead and drain that out.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.
  6. Add the already prepared meatless (or thin meat) sauce and mix.
  7. Add the Tomato Paste, Oregano, Thyme Fennel Seeds, salt and pepper and mix.
  8. Simmer for 1 hour so all the flavors meld together.
And imagine the possibilities
Like this Lasagna!

(Next Post)

This is old school. Italian Grandmother
old country,
old school. .


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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