A very simple meat sauce adapted from the delightful 'The Tuscan Year' by Elizabeth Romer. The sauce will be richer if you use a mixture of meats.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup celery with leaves, chopped
3 sprigs of Italian parsley
6 oz ground beef, pork or veal, mixed with some chopped bacon or pancetta; or 6 oz Italian sausages split open
VARIATION: you can also substitute mushrooms for meat in this recipe.
2/3 to 1 1/2 cups conserva or tomato puree, or fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped, or canned plum tomatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb spaghetti or any pasta
Large saucepan or skillet, pasta pot, sieve.
CHOP the onion, celery, carrot and parsley finely.
IN a frying pan on medium heat, heat up the two tablespoons of olive oil, add the chopped ingredients and allow them to soften.
ADD the meat, mix everything together and cook over a gentle flame until the meat has changed colour. Add the tomato conserva or ripe, diced tomatoes. Less tomato lets the meat flavor come through strongly; more tomato gives a more 'blended taste'
SIMMER gently for half an hour and season to taste with salt and black pepper. If the mixture is too dry add a little more olive oil or tomato. Never add water.
COOK the pasta, drain, pour into warm bowl. Add the meat sauce, stir, and serve. Parmesan cheese is optional.
VARIATION: You can make this sauce substituting mushrooms for the meat: about 6 oz fresh mushrooms or 1 oz of dried porcini mushrooms (soaked for 1 hour). Both these sauces are excellent with pasta and polenta and delicious in lasagne.
Per serving: Calories 575 - Protein 25g - Total Fat 13g - Sodium 946mg - Cholesterol 30mg - Carbohydrates 92g - Fiber - 3.4g