Friday, July 09, 2010

Pasta Pomodoro

I picked up a package of Pappardelle Pasta at Farmer's Market and was inspired to make my own sauce.  It's a pomodoro recipe I've been using for a while now.  You can make it with or without meat.  This makes four servings.

For the meatless version, skip down to Pomodoro sauce.  I like to cook with one pound of ground beef.  Lots of people like to substitute turkey for beef, but I can't do it.  It turns white and looks unappetizing to me.  I buy beef with the lowest fat possible (around 4%) but less fat sadly means less flavor, so we'll add some ingredients to make it tasty.

Warm up a large pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.  Add your ground beef in small pieces.  Just pinch it off.  Once it starts to cook, add about 1/4 cup of red wine, 2tsp each of salt of pepper.  Drain the juices with a turkey baster as it's browning.  Once it's all browned, set aside and cover. 

Pomodoro sauce:
In medium saucepan or pot, heat 2 tbs of olive oil, then add 1/2 diced yellow onion and 1tbs of crushed garlic.

Once the onion is translucent, add one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.  If you can get San Marzano tomatoes in the can, do!  They are the best tomatoes for sauces, because they have a nice sweetness and thicker texture. If the tomatoes aren't diced, pour the can with the juice into a bowl and cut them into chunks on a cutting board and return to the bowl.  In a bowl, mix one small can of tomato paste and refill the can halfway, mix it all together to break up the paste.  Add 2 tbs of chopped fresh basil if you have it, if not, dried is okay too.  Add 2 tbs of oregano and 1 tsp of sugar.  Mix this all together in your pot and simmer. 

After ten minutes, add the beef, stir occasionally, and serve after 1/2 hour.  You can cook longer if you want a thicker sauce and if it gets too thick, you can add water to thin the sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
For the pasta, make two 16oz of whatever type you like.

Tip: This was my first time cooking with pappardelle. While it is beautiful, it was so unwieldy, I had to cut it with a knife!  I prefer rigatoni or penne because it's bite-sized. Linguine is wonderful too. For this thick sauce, angel hair seems a little delicate.

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