Ragù Bolognese

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours 50 min
Total time: 3 hours
Yield: 6/8 servings

 Ingredients
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 3.5 oz Shallots
  • 3.5 oz Celery
  • 3.5 oz Carrots
  • 10 oz Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 Bottle Red Wine
  • 1 Spoon Olive Oil
  • Salt
This is one of the most famous Italian Sauces. It takes a while to make because it has to cook slowly, but homemade Ragù is simply delicious. I usually make a lot of it and freeze the rest in many one-serving portions.
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your ingredients, then start by mincing all the vegetables. I use the food processor.
  2. Brown the vegetables in a frying pan adding the olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Add all the meat and salt it. Break the meat down with a wooden spoon until it is well mixed with the vegetables (third picture). Cook on a slow fire until the meat no longer appears pink.
  4. When the meat is cooked and it has absorbed most of its fat, sprinkle it with the red wine. Let it cook until most of the liquids are absorbed.
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  5. Add the tomato puree, mix it in well, and let the sauce cook for at least another half a hour.
  6. Your homemade Ragù is ready. The traditional pasta pairing is with tagliatelle or fettuccine. Another popular one is spaghetti of course.
  7. You can also use Ragù to make a crostini or  bruschetta appetizer. Toast or grill the bread on both sides, add the Ragù on top and  serve immediately.
  8. I also love to serve Ragù on top of Italian Polenta, finer corn grits, trust me it is exquisite. (Final picture.)
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Ragù Bolognese by Camilla Isley September-20-2015

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Meatballs

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Yield: 6 servings

 Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds Ground Meat
  • 0.5 pounds Carrots
  • 16 oz Celery
  • 8 slices Bread
  • 2 oz Pecorino Cheese
  • 2 oz Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Shallot
  • Salt and Pepper
This is a very tasty recipe that everyone likes. Depending on the kind of meat you use you can shift the balance between healthy and tasty. Today I’m using an even mix of beef, pork, and turkey. But you can use just beef, beef and pork, beef and turkey, or just turkey/chicken (this being the lighter option).
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 400 °F
  2. Toast the bread and cut the cheese in small cubes. When the bread is hard enough put it in the food processor together with the cheese, add a pinch of salt (also a pinch of black pepper if you like it), and mix. Set aside the mixture in a big bowl.
  3. Repeat with the vegetables, remember to add salt (adding it in the processor helps spreading it equally). Once the veggies are minced, add them to the same bowl you used for the bread. 
  4. Break the eggs and scramble them until you have a homogeneous texture. Again mix in a small pinch of salt.
  5. Add the eggs and the meat to the bowl and stir energetically until you have an even blend. (It can be hard to mix everything evenly, usually I help myself with a hand mixer.)
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  6. Now use a spoon to scoop up a small quantity of the mix, roll it in your hands until you have an even ball, and set it in a plate. What I do is to set in front of me three plates and add a meatball to each as I go. This way at the end I’ll have three double-serving plates ready. I usually cook one and freeze the other two. If you need different portions you can adjust the quantities.
    If you don’t have the time, willingness, or patient—sometimes I lack all three of them—to make the small meatballs, you can roll three good-sized meat loafs. The taste will be equally delicious.
  7. Take a baking pan. You can either line the inside of the pan with parchment paper, or oil it with butter before you arrange the meatballs inside (try to space them evenly). Place the pan in the oven for forty minutes if using butter, or about fifty minutes if using parchment paper. I usually turn the meatballs halfway through.
    If you’re cooking a frozen portion, or if you decided to make a loaf allow ten minutes longer.
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Meatballs by Camilla Isley June-22-2015