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How to make Italian sauce for pasta.
The last time my friend Fabio came around for one of our cook-nights he brought with him an old traditional recipe to make his grandma's special sauce which she used for most of her main meal, meat dishes.
His family came from Tuscany and we often get together to share recipes and have a good chat too.
Fabio said his Grandma made great batches of this sauce; because she used it so much, none went to waste.
The sauce is made in two parts and here I am making enough for four using a pound of beef mince.
So we need for the first part of this sauce;
4 olives, pitted of course and out of a jar that have been kept in olive oil.
1/2 tin of tomatoes, get a good make the supermarket own brands have too much water in them.
1/2 a white onion
4 cloves of garlic
3 medium sized mushrooms
Course salt, either kosher or large grain sea salt.
1 tbl spoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tbl spoon of white wine vinegar
1 dessert spoon of either fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
1/2 a cup of cheese, any you fancy will do, I used a mature cheddar.
Half a sweet red pepper.
Glug of olive oil.
Prepare Onions for the sauce
To make this part of the sauce,
Coarsely chop the onions and put them in a warmed frying pan, sprinkle with salt and keep on a medium heat until they begin to sweat. Add the oil and give it a good stir, chop and get the seeds out of your pepper and then add to the pan.
Chop the mushrooms and into the pan as well as adding the chopped garlic.
Put the tomatoes [half a tin] into the blender and give it a whizz.
Let the onions cook a little longer, add the wet ingredients.
Now tip everything into the blender and give it a real good whizzing, you can add a little water if necessary.
I come from a family of cooks and chefs, and whenever I visited grandma's house, which was most days it always had a fantastic aroma of baking bread and sometimes roasting meat. Being a Yorkshire family, Yorkshire Puddings were quite often on the menu; but unlike now when they are most often served with the meal, we ate them either before or as the meal. When times were hard a good way of making sure everyone had some meat or at least meat gravy, was to cook the meat on a rack above the Yorkshire pub which was made in a large roasting tin not in the silly little pud tins that are used nowadays. As the meat cooked it dripped into the tin below and so when the batter was finally poured into the tin, it was rich in gravy.
There was a saying that went, in Yorkshire dialect of course...'them az eights most pudding eights most meight'. Roughly translates to 'Those who eat most of the pudding will get most of the meat. So the kids would have Yorkshire pudding and a few vegetables and dad would have the meat.
We were lucky as kids, we did not have a great deal of money, but we had love and affection in abundance and meal times were when we felt it most. It reafirmed the bond between us.
So I think it is desperatly sad when families don't eat together.
on with the Motley
As usual I'm chatting instead of cooking.
So now make your mince, we used a cut called 'rand' or 'round' which is a very modestly priced cut; but I think it is for the money a real good value meat. Run it through the mincer but leave it a bit course.
You can buy mince of course, but I like to know what I'm eating.
So about a 1 lb of mince will be okay for four people with this recipe.
Chop an onion either red or white what ever your preference.
Chop 4 cloves of garlic.
Six or eight olives to garnish.
Sea salt to taste
Italian mixed herbs; Basil, oregano, thyme either fresh or dried.
Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar
You the first part of the recipe already cooked so now, add a knob of butter to a large frying pan and sprinkle in about a tablespoon of mustard seeds. Keep your eye on it as soon as they begin to pop in the pan, add your onions and add some salt and then let it all cook for ten minutes on a low to medium heat.
After they are cooked put them into a dish. If you have some mustard oil you can use a tablespoon otherwise use olive oil, get the pan hot and then add your meat; stir all the time to make sure it all gets sealed and coated in the oil. Add your onion mix and 2 tablespoons of corn flour and your garlic. Be careful to make sure all the flour is mixed in well or it will taste it will turn lumpy, stir, add your vinegar.
Cook on a low to medium heat for ten minutes and then add the sauce you made earlier. Stir and cook for twenty minutes, add the herbs. You should now have a rich, thick sauce, keep stirring, once you are happy with the thickness, add your herbs and stir them in. put a lid on it for another thirty minutes.
food for the soul
Ciabatta and other bread recipes
- Specialty breads, ciabatta.
ciabatta, a delicious rustic bread full of flavour and full of goodness.
Enjoy Your Food
Serve with pasta, or on its own, add olives.
We really enjoyed the wonderful mixture and blend of flavours in this meal; we served it with pasta, fresh made ciabatta and love and of course music; you guessed, Pagliacci
Have a go, and let me know what you think.
Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed this little culinary adventure I shared with my friend.