Monday, February 23, 2009

my current meat sauce for pasta

i daren't call this bolognese because i'm sure it isn't authentic. however, this is one meat sauce for pasta that i have been very happy with, so i thought i should put it down lest i forget.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
oregano, parsley
500 grams minced beef
500 grams italian sausage, casings removed
2 glasses wine, plus more to rinse out the passata jar
1 large jar passata
zucchini, capsicum, mushroom...whatever takes your fancy
freshly cooked pasta
fresh basil

heat the oil in a large stockpot. i like to use a large stockpot because it makes everything nice and easy to stir; this sauce will not fill the pot in any way.
add the onions and garlic and stir around to coat with oil and allow to soften. add the oregano and parsley, if using. add the mince and italian sausage and stir to break up the meat. stir in the wine and allow to bubble away for about 15 minutes to half an hour.
add the passata, rinse out the jar with more wine (you don't want to waste any passata...heh heh), stir and allow to bubble away. at this stage i also add the vegetables and allow to bubble away for as long as possible (up to 2 hours). remember to stir the pot every now and then to make sure it doesn't catch on the bottom. if for some reason the sauce does catch (forget to stir, flame too high), quickly tip the sauce into another saucepan so the burnt flavour doesn't contaminate the whole batch of sauce. you'll get away with a little smokiness in the fact, some people will think it make the sauce even more delicious because it adds another dimension.
at this stage, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. seasoning with pepper and nutmeg earlier is fine, but because there's so much bubbling and evaporation going on, it's much safer to salt at the end. very often i don't add salt because the passata and sausage are already plenty salty, as is the pasta, which should be cooked in well salted water.
that's about it. serve it with al dente pasta (please don't overcook the pasta if at all possible) and fresh basil.
buon appetito!

No comments: