Thursday, February 7, 2013

Slow Cooked Sauce

I used to make a lot of slow cooking tomatoey sauces. I love the idea of dinner bubbling away on the stove for hours. Somehow over the years I got the idea that James didn't like these long simmering treats. So these days, despite my fondness for old-fashioned red sauces, I make them less and less.
This month's Bon Appetit magazine featured 7, what they called, great pasta dishes. One really caught my eye, a spicy Calabrian style pork ragu. Funny it's the kind of recipe I usually breeze right by, but for some reason the combination of slow cooked sausage and ground pork (I just happened to have both in the freezer from our meat CSA box) and a tasty use for my home canned tomatoes called to me. A super tasty, cold weather hearty pasta dish with no trip to the store? genius!
I sautéd the sausage and then added in the ground pork until no longer pink and set the meat aside. In the remaining fat I cooked down carrot, onion, dried red peppers, oregano and -- because I didn't have the parsley the recipe called for -- shredded zucchini frozen from our summer garden. The vegetables cook down and are joined by diluted tomato sauce and pureéd canned tomatoes and the reserved meat. A mere four hours later (okay maybe four and a half) James was sitting down to a hearty red tinged dinner.
"We never have sauce like this," he mused. "It's really good."

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