Ragu' Toscano (Tuscan Ragu'), Pasta alla Pistoiese (City of Pistoia)

I love traveling about Italy, especially when I am on my own.   I have been known to disappear on long drives, only to happen on a small Medieval town.   This time, not long ago, I stopped in Pistoia in the hills of Tuscany.   What a wonderful place to take in the sights and the people. It's hard not to love all of it, the people, the countryside.   Why would I ever return home?   I didn't have to go far to a local bar and ask where to eat.  Just ask a local and he will probably escort you there.     A nearby Trattoria, a glass of local Montpulciano.and a great local dish that involved Pasta of any kind and I was in heaven.  After charming my waiter, which wasn't terribly difficult, given his big smile and handsome face, I  quickly made my way into the kitchen just to observe the seriousness of it all and his Mother at the command post. I quickly learned to be sure and stay out of the way.   I am long overdue for a visit.  
This simple and delicious recipe, will have you coming back for seconds.  By all means, cook some extra pasta.  
Ingredients:  4 people
One pound of Penne Pasta or Spaghetti (dish is made with fresh Pasta).  Lots of good, dry varieties on the market.
8 quarts of salted water brought to a rolling boil
One large skillet to accommodate your ingredients
Ragu':  
One medium carrot/ diced
1/2 medium onion diced ( I like to use sweet Italian red in my kitchen, however traditionally, yellow onion is used)
One celery stalk, peeled and diced 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 4 ounces ground veal
4 ounces of ground beef
1/2  cup of dry red wine  ( I like to use whatever I am going to have on the table to drink)
One tablespoon tomato paste diluted in 3 tablespoons of water
Salt / pepper to taste 
Method:  Heat your oil to medium in a large skillet.  Add thee vegetables and cook on medium/ low for 30 minutes time.  I like to add a pinch of salt to them as it helps the vegetables break down
and cook. 
 Keep an eye on them and give them a mix so they don't stick.   When everything is fragrant and soft,  add your beef and veal.   Give it a mix and brown some.   Add your wine, tomatoes and continue to mix.  

 Turn your heat down to low and place a cover on the pan.  
When the oil separates from the pan (After about 30 minutes), it's done.  Cook your pasta to al dented, drain and toss.    Don't forget a little Parmigiano Reggiano if you like.   I prefer it without.   Buon Appetito!






Comments

Newlywed Cook said…
Wandering about medieval villages of Tuscany? Yes, please! Sounds like you have just the right plan for finding the best food. This ragu sauce looks just like mama would make, if my mama was Italian.
Let's all go! It's so much fun! Thanks!!
Thank you, Barbara, for posting a truly authentic ragù alla toscana. We never see these things here in the States... always tons of tomatoes and garlic. This is the real deal! Mille grazie! ~ David

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