Whats you best Italian recipe?
May 20, 2009 4:54 AM   Subscribe

italiancookingfilter: give me your best Italian recipe - can be authentic Italian or Italian-American...doesn't matter one way or another!

just looking for good Italian recipes -- already have some in my repitore but as much as i enjoy cooking and enjoy Italian food i want to expand my horizons -- so hit me with your best recipe!

side note, can include just about anything (located in DC so i can find it) -- also i do cook a fair amount so pretty much anything you can think of, and that you enjoy, i can make and enjoy myself!
posted by knockoutking to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
The simplest and most wonderful thing you'll ever eat:

1) Chopped red chilli and garlic
2) Fry gently in plenty of butter. Don't burn the garlic!
3) Boil the spaghetti. When its ready, dump it in the pan and stir in the juices.
4) Splosh on some good extra-virgin oil, plenty of salt and pepper
5) Grate on some parmesan, garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley
6) Serve on a leafy veranda in Lombardy in late-summer with a young white wine
7) Fall in love with the world.
posted by Jofus at 5:27 AM on May 20, 2009 [5 favorites]

Have you seen Mietta's Italian Family Recipes? It's a great resource that goes waaaay beyond the usual pizza / pasta / antipasto thing. I love their recipes for rabbit.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:27 AM on May 20, 2009

Chicken saltimbocca... yummy.
posted by sundri at 5:27 AM on May 20, 2009

I've become a hopeless Ragù alla Bolognese addict. This sauce takes a whole lot of time and a lot of effort, but it is worth it! I don't have exact measurements; you've got to work by feel to get it right. I like to start by browning 2-3 pounds of ground beef and some ground pork in a big pan. Remove the meat and use the fat for the next step. Make a soffritto of roughly equal parts of onions, carrots and celery, plus a handful of parma ham, all minced VERY fine. When soft, add the meat. Turn the fire down to the minimum and add a cup or two of milk. Simmer as slowly as possible until most of the liquid is gone. Then add a cup or two of red wine and again simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Then add a can or two of tomatoes. (I like to use whole tomatoes and squish 'em up.) Continue to simmer as slowly as possible at least two more hours. There will be a lot of fat from the ground meat, so skim off as much as you can while the sauce is cooking. The bologenese should cook at least three or four hours altogether. It's done when the vegetables have dissolved except for flecks of carrot, it is thick and velvety, and has a deep meaty taste.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 5:31 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Gnocchi! No specific recipe because you can do anything with it. Great stuff and makes for great presentation. From Epicurious, here's a recipe for making them from scratch and a search result for gnocchi recipes.

Mark Bittman also has a great recipe for making gnocchi in his book "How To Cook Everything". I would suggest however that if you make gnocchi, dont boil the potatoes, bake them. Takes a lot longer to make but you get fluffier gnocchi. And use a potato ricer.
posted by elendil71 at 5:35 AM on May 20, 2009

Marcella Hazan's red and yellow bell pepper and sausage sauce. Incredibly easy (be sure to peel the peppers, though: the "if desired" option doesn't appear in the actual cookbook); we cook it about once a week, and all the guests we've served it to ask for the recipe. Best with fresh homemade pasta, but boxed pasta will do if you don't have the time.
posted by halogen at 5:37 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Roasted garlic pesto sauce:

Roast one head of garlic (chop off the bottom of the whole head, wrap in foil, put in over at 350 for 45 minutes, then let it cool).

Pan toast a 1/4 pine nuts in a dry fry pan, til the nuts are slightly golden brown. Add two handfulls of basil leaves, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (real, not green can), salt, pepper, pine nuts, and 1/4 cup olive oil to a food processor Squeeze in the roasted garlic out of the skin of the head. Blend til past-like.

This stuff is good directly on pasta (mix it in) as a sort of dry sauce, or even better mixed 1 part paste to 1 part cream as, well, a cream sauce.

This works quite well on penne with grilled shrimp and orange/yellow bell peppers on top.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:38 AM on May 20, 2009

My favorite: the steak rollatini recipe from my grandparents' Italian restaurant.

Take some filet mignon, pound it decently thin, lay it out. Top that with some moderately sharp provolone and a slice of prosciutto. Roll this around a core of seasoned bread crumbs. Pack the rolls into a baking pan, splash some melted butter and a nice white wine on top, bake. I can't remember the exact time, but look for the steak to be done, it'll be pretty obvious. Top with fresh tomato sauce when they're done.
posted by DoubleMark at 6:37 AM on May 20, 2009

*pulls up chair and sits down*

One of the simplest and best pasta "sauces" I know of is nothing more than chopped sage and butter. Use about a stick of butter per pound of pasta; melt it on low, then chop up a big handful of fresh sage leaves and just frizzle them in the butter (keep it on low) while you're cooking the pasta. Add a little salt and garlic if you want. Toss with the pasta when you're done. I often use that on tortellini or other stuffed pasta and I throw in a handful or two of peas for a one-dish meal.

Another unusual, but good, sauce is the basic oil-and-garlic, only while the oil-and-garlic is first cooking, toast about a quarter cup to a third of a cup chopped walnuts in the oven (oven on 350, walnuts spread on a cookie sheet, give it about 5 minutes -- shaking the sheet every so often -- just until you smell them), and chop up a few anchovy fillets. Right when the garlic is looking done, stir in the chopped anchovies -- they will "melt" into the oil and garlic. Toss the pasta with the oil and garlic/anchovy mix, and then toss in the toasted walnuts.

The easiest appetizer in the world -- fried green olives. Splurge and go for the ones at the olive bar instead of the ones in a jar in the supermarket. Get big ones; if you get green olives stuffed with something, even better. You just roll them in beaten egg and bread crumbs, and then fry them.

If you have leftover risotto, make suppli -- take the risotto and make little golf-ball sized balls out of them. Poke a hole in them and stuff in a little mozzarella cheese. Roll 'em in beaten egg and then in bread crumbs, then deep-fry. Or, make 'em orange-sized -- then they're called arancini. The recipe is the same, except...you make bigger balls out of 'em.

If you never HAVE made risotto, it's actually a lot easier than you think. You will hear people tell you that the risotto needs to be constantly stirred -- however, I have not ever once "constantly" stirred it and it hasn't seemed to make a whit of difference. The basic technique is: arborio rice, broth, and a little chopped onion, and maybe a splash of wine. You heat the broth first, then keep it warm. Then saute the chopped onion first, then dump in the rice and let that saute for a bit. Then add the wine and let that bubble away until it looks almost all absorbed. Then add about a half cup of the hot broth, turn the heat down to low, and give the rice a good stir. Keep adding the broth in half-cup increments as it gets absorbed into the rice. Give things a good stir every couple minutes as you go. When the rice becomes all creamy and the broth is almost completely incorporated, take it off the heat and add some parmaesan cheese if you like. You're done. ....This is a bare-bones recipe, which I present for illustrating the technique -- you can add all sorts of bells and whistles when it comes to extra flavorings or ingredients -- meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts, etc. -- most of them are stirred in with the last bit of broth or with the cheese. This makes another very good one-pot meal -- I've made an amazing risotto with cubed cooked winter squash, chopped sage and toasted hazelnuts.

I consider pasta puttanesca to be one of my reasons to live. The sauce is nothing more than a marinara sauce spiked with capers, chopped anchovy, and chopped black olives.

Pasta carbonara is another of my reasons to live, but I'm assuming you know about how to make that.

That's a start. I tend to lean towards simple, fresh-ingredients, tratorria-style Italian cooking, and there are scores of such cookbooks out there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:00 AM on May 20, 2009 [5 favorites]

Pasta with Spicy Anchovy and Tomato Garlic Sauce

Don't worry if you don't like anchovies. Their use here is to give the sauce a salty, deep savory taste - another component rather than the dominant flavor.

You will need:

Half a jar of anchovies in oil
Olive Oil
Either two or three cartons of cherry or grape tomatoes or two cans of crushed tomatoes
As much garlic as you can handle or prefer
Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh oregano (dry is fine but you know..fresh is always better)
A box of your favorite pasta (I like to use cappelinni or penne)
A cup of dry white wine

To Make:

If you're using fresh tomatoes, slice each one in half. Otherwise, just open your cans and have them ready. Finely chop your oregano and then slice a crap load of garlic really thin.

Boil water and cook the pasta to pretty firm al dente and set aside (you'll finish it off in the saute pan)

Heat a generous amount of olive oil (minimum a quarter cup) in a large, straight sided saute pan and toss the garlic along with a two or three pinches of red pepper flakes (to taste) into the oil and let simmer til the garlic just starts to brown along the edge.

Toss the anchovies into the pan and allow them to disintegrate, stirring occasionally (maybe 3 minutes). Once the anchovies have disintegrated, deglaze your pan with the wine, toss in the oregano, salt and pepper and then the tomoatoes, reduce your heat to low and let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid reduces a bit. Toss in your pasta, add some more oregano and fresh pepper, stir things up to evenly distribute the sauce and let simmer for another 5 minutes or so.

posted by spicynuts at 8:00 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

My two stand-by Italian pasta sauces are Marcella Hazan's onion and butter sauce and a ragu bolognese.

The onion and butter sauce is incredibly easy -- throw into a pot a big can of san marzano tomatoes (or chopped up fresh ones), one halved medium onion, and 2 or 3 (or 4) tablespoons of good butter into a pot, simmer for 45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove the onion when the sauce is done (my guests then usually eat the onion!). The recipe is very flexible, so sometimes I'll add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, a couple stems of thyme, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes... anything that sounds good.

After much research and experimentation, my favorite ragu bolognese sauce is this one. It tastes the closest to the best ragu bolognese I've had in northern Italy, and it's pretty easy. My only change is that I use somewhat less nutmeg (maybe a half a nut or so) than he suggests. In the recipe, the author also makes many very good points about key aspects of a good ragu bolognese.
posted by odin53 at 8:21 AM on May 20, 2009

Have you noticed how several people have given you recipes from Marcella Hazan? Yeah. If you don't already own it, go buy her "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking," which is pretty much my favorite cookbook ever.

One of the many recipes from that book that we make all. the. time. goes like this:

-- Chop up some onion, carrot, and celery. Marcela calls for something like 2/3 C each; I just cut up a carrot and look for a similar quantity of celery and onion.

-- Put those in a pot with some canned San Marzano tomatoes (with juice) (or fresh tomatoes if they are in season) and some salt and simmer (uncovered) for a while. After 30 minutes or so, break up the bits of tomatoes that are left, and add about 1/3 cup olive oil. Cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with pasta and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

It is light and simple and delicious. You can saute the vegetables beforehand if you want; I usually don't.
posted by chalkbored at 9:26 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: my (current) favorite semi-Italian recipe, which i think i found here in the green

thousand layer lasagna
and before you say anything about it, no its not a "traditional" lasagna, but yes its damn good -- and yes its pretty easy to make...

thanks for the good recipes so far, im pretty excited to make some of these this weekend!
posted by knockoutking at 9:27 AM on May 20, 2009

Response by poster: also, I have put "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" on my amazon wishlist -- will probably order this week!
posted by knockoutking at 9:28 AM on May 20, 2009

Potato gatto.
posted by dfan at 9:32 AM on May 20, 2009

Here is one you may not have had that is simple enough to try tonight. You can take the shortcut and buy all the ingredients premade or make the pesto and tortellini yourself.

Cook spinach tortellini 'til tender. While still warm add pesto and one ripe fully mashed avocado then toss gently until all tortelleni are fully coated. Top with grated Reggiano if desired. Delicious and unusual. Shared by an Italian friend visiting from Italy this past winter. Another tip. Substitute white wine for the water in your made from scratch pasta recipes.
posted by Muirwylde at 10:52 AM on May 20, 2009

My wife and I both enjoy lots of Italian food, there's plenty of recipes (and pictures) under the Italian tag on her blog. Some of my favorites are toasted ravioli, and Risotto with sun dried tomatoes and Italian sausage. And now I'm hungry, excuse me, but I need to pester her about what's for dinner tonight.
posted by borkencode at 11:49 AM on May 20, 2009

I really like Spaghetti Carbonara, mostly as a vehicle for tasty, tasty bacon.

I don't exactly make it right but I like the result, so here's how I do it (this yields one serving).

Boil some water for pasta. While that's going on, chop up about 4 strips of bacon (you're supposed to use pancetta, but whatever) into half-inch squares, then heat up a little olive oil in a skillet and fry up the bacon bits. When they're done, remove them from the pan and drain out some of the fat. Leave just enough of the bacon fat and olive oil to coat your pasta when it's ready. Keep that off the heat and ready to go for when the pasta's ready.

Did I mention that at some point during that process you should have added pasta to your water and it should be boiling along nicely? Well now I did. OK. You also need one egg. I like to separate the egg and just use the yolk. When the pasta's ready, strain it, and throw it in the pan with the bacon grease and olive oil, stir it around until the pasta's well-coated, then add the egg yolk and stir quickly so it coats the noodles as well. The idea is that the heat from the noodles and the pan (which should not be on the heat in this part of the process) cooks the egg, but not too much and you get a really nice creamy and clingy sauce on the pasta. Then add the bacon bits, dump the whole mess in a bowl and garnish liberally with fresh ground pepper and grated parmesan cheese. Very tasty and very simple.

I have never caught salmonella from making this and I've been making it for years. Still, it is appropriate to warn that the whole point of the recipe is that your egg doesn't cook all the way through, so take that under advisement.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:50 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I had one of my italian colleauges show me how he makes his 10 minute penne arrabiatta, this was the video of the receipe (youtube).

Absolutely perfect recipe for a lazy after-work meal.


2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of tomatoes
500 grams of penne
salt (the courser the better)
Extra virgin olive oil
posted by channey at 1:47 AM on May 21, 2009

Bolognese Meat Sauce!
This stuff is an experience, not just a dinner.
From a "Essentials of classic Italian cooking"

● The meat should not be from too lean a cut; the more marbled it is, the sweeter the ragù will be.The most desirable cut of beef is the neck portion of the chuck.

● Add salt immediately when sautéing the meat to extract its juices for the subsequent benefit of the sauce.

● Cook the meat in milk before adding wine and tomatoes to protect it from the acidic bite of the latter.

● Do not use demiglace or other concentrates that tip the balance of flavors toward harshness.

● Use a pot that retains heat. Earthenware is preferred in Bologna and by most cooks in Emilia-Romagna, but enameled cast-iron pans or a pot whose heavy bottom is composed of layers of steel alloys are fully satisfactory.

● Cook, uncovered, at the merest simmer for a long, long time; no less than 3 hours is necessary, more is better.

2 heaping cups, for about 6 servings and 1.5 pounds pasta

● 1 tbsp vegetable oil‍‍‍‍‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ● 1 cup whole milk
● 3 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp for tossing the pasta‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌● Whole nutmeg
● 1/2 cup chopped onion‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌● 1 cup dry white wine
● 2/3 cup chopped celery‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌‍‌ ● 1&1/2 cups canned
● 2/3 cup chopped carrot ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌imported Italian plum
● 3/4 pound ground beef‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌tomatoes, cut up,
‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌(see prefatory note above)‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ with their juice
● Salt‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌● 1&1/4 to 1&1/2
● Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ pounds pasta
● Freshly grated parmigiano-
‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌ ‍‌reggiano
cheese at the table

Recommended pasta ● There is no more perfect union in all gastronomy than the marriage of Bolognese ragù with homemade Bolognese tagliatelle. Equally classic is Baked Green Lasagne with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style. Ragù is delicious with tortellini and irreproachable with such boxed , dry pasta as rigatoni, conchiglie, or fusilli. Curiously, considering the popularity of the dish in the United Kingdom and countries of the Commonwealth, meat sauce in Bologna is never served over spaghetti.

1. Put the oil, butter, and chopped onion in the pot, and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion in the pot, and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.

2. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well, and cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color.

3. Add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating - about 1/8 teaspoon- of nutmeg, and stir.

4. Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking, adding 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.

5. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

Ahead-of-time note ● If you cannot watch the sauce for a 3- to 4-hour stretch, you can turn off the heat whenever you need to leave, and resume cooking later on, as long as you complete the sauce within the same day. Once done, you can refrigerate the sauce in a tightly sealed container for 3 days, or you can freeze it. Before tossing with pasta, reheat it, letting it simmer fro 15 minutes and stirring it once or twice.

Variation of Ragù with Pork
Pork is an important part of Bologna's culture, its economy, and the cuisine, and many cooks add some pork to make their ragù tastier. Use 1 part ground pork, preferably from the neck or Boston butt, to 2 parts beef, and make the meat sauce exactly as described in the basic recipe above.
posted by kapu at 1:52 AM on May 24, 2009

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