Rainy day in Florence. When I open the window at mezzogiorno and get a waft of someone’s sugo, I don’t know whether to be jealous or guilty that I’m not making one. Surely I’m both, and on a day like today I get cooking immediatemente.

Ragu ~ is a Tuscan meat sauce with tomato and red wine. At La Cucina al Focolare, my wood-fired oven cooking school in in the Arno valley south east of Florence, this tasty sauce simmers slowly and often. Chef Piero Ferrini has taught us a few important things. Tuscan’s make their ragu with red wine. A Bolognese version is with milk.

1 lb of ground beef

1/2 lb of ground pork (optional)

1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 1 small onion, chopped fine

1 bouquet garni of rosemary, sage, and thyme

2 glasses of red wine (one for the cook, one for the pot)

1 can of whole peeled tomato sauce, squished between your fingers

1 T of tomato concentrate

salt and pepper

Chop the carrot, onion and celery for the “soffritto” finely. Sauté in generous olive oil. Brown the meat separately. Add it to the pot and listen. When the meat is dry and the sound increases, it’s thirsty. Give it a glass of red wine. Add ample pinches salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes and the concentrate. Stir. Then, add hot water, not stock, to the desired consistency, enough that it can simmer for a few hours. Tie the herbs together and toss them in the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer on a low flame with a wooden spoon between lid and pot for slow evaporation and concentration of the sauce. It should still be saucy. Correct for salt, pepper and perhaps another splash of vino. Ready to serve after a long simmer. Taste. Eat with tagliatelle, pappardelle, or use in lasagna or even risotto.

I wonder if anyone on my street can smell the sugo ragu coming from my winter window.



#ragu #sabato #thewayitis #casa #vogliadimangiare

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