Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ABOUT 5 1/2 CUPS
Ragu sauces denote those with meat that are cooked for a long time, and they will differ from place to place in Italy. Umbrian ragus are not as common as other types of sauces but here is one that is easy to make, and essential for my Parmigiano di Copolla recipe; it's also good on a short cut of pasta such as rigatoni or ziti.
The ubiquitous ingredient is shaved black truffle, added at the end of the cooking process, but this is optional. The other unusual ingredient is nutmeg, which gives a subtle hint of sweetness and spiciness to the sauce.
1 tablespoon butter
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 pound ground pork
1/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound cooked ham, diced
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 large plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grinding of coarse black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 small black truffle (optional)
Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan, and cook the carrot, celery, and onion until the mixture is soft. Stir in the pork and beef and brown well. Stir in the ham. Cook 1 minute longer. Raise the heat to high, pour in the wine and allow it to evaporate. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce, covered, for 35 minutes.
Uncover the pan, and shave the black truffle over the top. Cover the pan and allow the truffle to permeate the ragu for 2 or 3 minutes without turning the heat back on.
Use this sauce over cooked pasta or in the recipe for Parmigiana di Cipolla di Cannara.
Note: This sauce may be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN UMBRIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.