Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spaghetti with Sausage Ragu

There is nothing quite like the smell of a delicious sauce cooking all afternoon. The scent fills the house with warmth, especially on cold winter days. Speaking of winter days, Nashville has finally frozen over. I was hoping the mild winter would continue into the spring, but no, it is cold and there was even a snow flurry. This called for a meal that would warm our insides up as well as the kitchen.

I received Anne Burell's Cook Like a Rock Star for Christmas from my boyfriend. Cookbooks are gifts we both enjoy. I get to learn new recipes and he gets to eat them. I asked for this book because I really enjoy watching Anne Burrell on Food Network. I love her attitude. She is funny and lively and I love the way she talks about food. A girl after my own heart, or stomach. I had bookmarked her recipe for Sausage Ragu and finally decided to try it. Wow. I can't believe it took me so long. This is the most amazing recipe. I can't believe how much the flavors change as the sauce cooks down and reduces and simmers for hours. AMAZING! You have to try it.

The original recipe calls for both sweet and spicy Italian sausage. I just used the spicy Italian because it was all I had. I also didn't have any fennel. Next time I will add the fennel for sure. 

Sausage Ragu
Adapted from Cook Like a Rock Star

2 onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Olive oil
2 cups tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
2 bay leaves
Dried thyme

1) Put the veggies in a food processor and puree until it forms a paste

2) Heat a large dutch oven and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the puree and let cook down, stirring a couple times. As Anne says, "you want to brown the crap out of these guys until crud starts to form on the bottom of the pan" this will take about 30 minutes

3) When the puree has been browned add the tomato paste and let it cook for about 3 minutes

4) Stir in the wine and let it evaporate a little as it cooks for about 5 minutes
5) Add the sausage and break it up, let cook for 15 minutes

6) Add enough water to cover the meat by 1/2 inch, then stir and add spices and salt, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, checking flavor

7) Cook the sauce, uncovered, for 3-4 hours, checking it occasionally and adding more water, little by little, don't add it all at once, remember to keep tasting!

8) When the sauce is done toss in your favorite pasta and cook it in the sauce for a minute or so. Serve with Parmesan and enjoy!


No comments:

Post a Comment