Tuesday, February 5, 2008

North Coast Ragu

That Pecorino in the background may be gilding the lily a bit, but I didn't see any reason to forgo the pleasure. Pictured is the remainder of my box of gnocchetti sardi smothered in what may be the richest sauce ever. Making the sauce took a few minutes, but it was pretty simple.

For the sauce I sweated diced seasoned onions and a bit of minced garlic in olive oil with some chili flakes. Once everything was soft I added good quality, local, happy pig, hot Italian sausage removed from the casings and some chopped sage. Once the pork was chopped up, browned, and everything was mixed well I added heavy cream (from the same folks who raised the pig) to cover the sausage mixture and reduced the cream about 50%. To the creamy sausage mixture I added a whole can of tomatoes (organic, California) with juice (prior to adding I crushed the tomatoes, with clean hands, of course). The mixture was brought to a boil, and a good deal of tomato paste was added along with some more salt and pepper. After a little while over high heat it all reduced and got pretty tight.

This sauce is pretty hardy--think dense tomato sauce with a milk braised ground sausage base. If I ever make a non-vegetarian lasagna I'll come back to this.

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