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Posts tagged ‘ragu’

Beef And Eggplant Ragu


I love a good meaty pasta dish, it’s rich and perfect cold weather fare. This recipe couldn’t be easier, and has a surprise ingredient, eggplant which adds an amazing flavor and texture, it’s similar to a bolognese but not your traditional recipe.  I have posted recipes from Windy before, well, it was a few years ago and I posted her recipe for turkey meatballs in a cream sauce.  She doesn’t have a food blog but I think she should. Her recipes are delicious, nutritious and budget conscience. Whether making this for one or a family (it tastes even better the next day) you should give this recipe a try. You can use whatever type of pasta you like, whether long noodles or a substantial pasta like rigatoni it is wonderful, gnocchi would be great as well.

Beef and eggplant ragu

Serves 4 generously

4 garlic cloves chopped
1 shallot chopped
1/2 small onion (red or yellow)
1 lb 80% Lean ground beef
1 small Eggplant  peeled and cubed
1 28 oz can Tomato Puree
1 cup red wine
3 Bay Leaves
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Dice and sautée garlic, shallots and onion for about 3 min. Add ground beef. Cook until ground beef is browned then add eggplant and cook about 4 min longer. Add canned tomato, wine, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for about 20-30 min.
Cook pasta of your choice. I used fettuccine. Toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle pecorino Romano on top. Also good with a dollop of ricotta. 😋



Mixed Beef And Pork Ragu With Rigatoni

A bowl of pasta

A bowl of pasta

I saw a post the other day from The Seasoned Traveller for Pappardelle With Pork Rib Ragu and it immediately brought me back to my childhood, one of my favorite Italian dishes my Mom made was a mixed meat ragu, Mom used both beef and pork and it was delicious the meat was so tender it literally melts in your mouth and the sauce is rich and thick.  Laura (The Seasoned Traveller) made a mouthwateringly good ragu and served it with pappardelle, imagine that ribbon like pasta with the thick rich meaty sauce. Delicious right?  Laura inspired me to make a ragu, I used beef short ribs and pork country ribs. Now I don’t know if technically that is the correct name for those ribs but thats what I know them as. They are meaty with just the right ratio of fat to muscle. It’s one of my favorite cuts of pork. I first sauteed the ribs in a little olive oil, then added some garlic and basil, tomato and slow simmered for about 3 – 4 1/2 hours until the meat was falling off the bone. I decided to make Rigatoni to serve with this thick rich sauce, the pasta is not delicate and neither is the sauce, its a great match. I make this the day before I serve it, the meat is quite fatty so I refrigerate overnight, scrape off most of the fat, reheat and adjust seasoning before serving. Added bonus there is something about an Italian sauce that always tastes better the next day, it’s that much more delicious.

Country Pork Ribs

Country Pork Ribs


Mixed Meat Ragu

4 meaty pork country ribs

4-6 beef short ribs

olive oil for pan

fresh or dried basil (8 leaves fresh and approximately 2-3 tsp dried basil) I never measure so its approximate do according to taste

2 cans (28 oz each) good whole tomatoes I like San Marzano – pureed in blender, run through food mill or broken up with your hands

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 shallot minced

3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

peperoncino or crushed red pepper a generous pinch

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in dutch oven, add the short ribs and sear, remove and sear the pork ribs, remove to plate. Add the shallot and saute until it softens, then add the garlic and lightly brown, if using dried basil add to the oil with the garlic also add the crushed red pepper when it is almost done. Add the crushed tomatoes and you can either put the whole tomatoes in the blender or food processor to puree or break with your hands or use a food mill. Add the whole tomato puree to the pot, season with salt and pepper, add the fresh basil. Now add the meat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium and simmer for 3-4 1/2  hours or until meat is fall off the bone tender.

To serve I remove the bones and leave the meat in nice size chunks, I don’t like to shred it. I add some of the sauce to a saute pan. add the al dente pasta and let it cook a minute or two in the sauce. Divide into bowls, add meat and a little more sauce and finish with a nice grating of cheese either parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano or both.

Meaty and Delicious

Meaty and Delicious


Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

This is a terrific recipe for meatballs, we didn’t have them very often usually my Mom’s sauce was either meatless (Marinara) or cooked with chunks of beef and pork, but I do remember her meatballs being delicious, the consistency was soft and after leaving home I tried to make them like hers but never quite got there. I had never asked her for the recipe until last week and it was one of those Ah-ha moments when she gave me the list of ingredients. She adds Italian sausage meat, I had made them with ground pork and beef but never sausage. The taste is distinctive, the meatballs are very soft and moist (sometimes meatballs can be rubbery). They are seared and then cooked in the sauce slowly just about all day. Have it over pasta or make a meatball sub or grinder, anyway you serve it it’s delicious.

Makes: 16 large meatballs and approximately 8 cups of sauce


3 cloves garlic thinly siliced
1 shallot minced
4.5 oz tube tomato paste or 3/4 of a 6 oz can
3 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
olive oil for pan
5 leaves fresh basil +3 after sauce is cooked
salt and pepper to taste
NOTE: You can add a little sugar if your sauce is too sour (it happens sometimes)
1 lb ground beef (80%fat) I like chuck
1 lb sausage meat
handful italian parsley chopped
1/2 cup grated parmigiano or pecorino romano cheese
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs from day old bread (I like to use ciabatta)
1/2 cup water
2 tsp salt
several turns of the peppermill
You will need a large mixing bowl, add the meat and mix with spoon or with your hands. Pulse the bread in the food processor add to the meat along with 1/2 cup water, add the parsley, cheese, eggs and salt and pepper. Mix together until it’s all combined. Form into meatballs, I like mine about the size of a handball. In a non stick skillet heat some olive oil, place the meatballs about 1 inch apart and fry so they are browned on each side but not cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Keep the oil and drippings in the skillet you will need it for the sauce.
To dutch oven add  the oil from the meat that was fried (only enough to coat the bottom of the pan)  then the shallot and cook until soft, add the garlic and let it cook until the garlic just starts to brown (takes only about 3 minutes) on medium high heat. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring constantly until it caramelizes. Puree the tomatoes in the blender or food processor until smooth and add to the onion,garlic and tomato paste, stir to combine and then add the meatballs and slow cook on medium/low heat covered for at least 3-4 hours stirring frequently, or if cooking  all day use low heat so it just simmers, stirring occasionally.