Sunday, May 01, 2011


In a long line of girls that I would describe as simultaneously "interesting" and "attractive", she was the latest one.

As smart as she was handsome, she possessed an inherent ability to analyse situations and be all... "meta" about shit.

Finally we were at the stage where it wasn't weird or presumptuous to ask the person to the other person's place for what can only be described as "a date" (TM).

I decided to make ragu.

Ragu is an amazing dish. But it's the sort of thing that doesn't try to be. A meat sauce for pasta that has as many variations as it does people attempting to make it.

My attempting to make it contains thusly:
- 1 cacchiatori
- 3 pork and fennel sausages, with filling squeezed out so they're like meatballs
- 250g of whatever mince looks good
- 250g of diced whatever meat looks nice and fatty
- 50g of smoked speck
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- Either 8 tomatoes peeled and diced, or 2 tins of tomatoes
- Half a bulb of garlic, roasted in the oven
- Half a bottle of a fruity wine
- 1.5 litres of a weakish vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, ground
- A solid grating of nutmeg
- A couple of basil leaves, a few sage leaves and a small grab of parsley chopped fairly finely
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Neutral oil to good it in

I cook that according to a normal stew recipe sort of thing, add it to some pasta (papardelle or penne are my favourites) and top it with some freshly chopped parsley and a good grating or shaving of parmigianno reggiano and I'm done.

It's just so perfect.

The ragu on it's own is like an amazing stew that would be great enough on it's own. But then you add good pasta and you add good cheese and it becomes one of the best dishes around. And all you did was stew together some meats that looked good and some seasonal vegetables. It's peasant food. It shouldn't be this great, but it is. And if you add some crusty bread, a simple garden salad on the side and a solid red wine... enough said.

She noticed that I was more interesting with the ragu than I was her, so she left (not until after finishing her bowl, I should add).

I think I'll be forever single. Because never have I ever felt as much for a woman as I have for a good ragu.


Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

That is some good lookin' ragu and pappardelle.

Can any one person make you as content as a good ragu with al dente pasta? Life's big questions...

Jobe said...

Tina, that would be a big "no".

On the topic of papardelle, I should mention that this one is the il colleztione egg papardelle from Barilla. Obviously not as good as fresh, home made pasta, but it's actually really nice. Really digging their colleztione range.