Tag Archives: pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese


a modified version of an Anne Burrell recipe.
makes enough sauce to freeze 1/2 for another time
Takes a while but most of the time is just simmering and adding water occasionally

1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 ribs celery diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 12oz cans tomato paste
2 Lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
bunch of fresh thyme,tied in a bundle
3 bay leaves
750ml bottle red wine I use chianti
1/2 cup parmesan
Olive oil
kosher salt
1 lb spaghetti

in a food processor puree the carrots,onion celery and garlic
Heat some oil in a large skillet
saute the pureed vegetables with some salt until the water evaporates and they are nicely browned 20 minutes or so
add the meat and a little more salt and cook 15 minutes or so until nicely browned
stir in the tomato paste and cook 5 minutes
stir in the wine,turn the heat to high and cook until the wine is reduced by 1/2 5 more minutes or so
add the thyme and bay leaf
add water to cover the meat by an inch or so
bring to a boil and simmer 3 1/2 to 4 hours. as it simmers you will need to add water to keep the meat covered by an inch or so,I add 2 cups every hour or so
taste for salt as it cooks you may need to add some but remember as the sauce reduced the saltiness will increase
when the sauce has about 1/2 hour left boil some water with salt
cook the spaghetti for 1 minute less than the package calls for
drain,reserving 1/2 cup of water

Remove the thyme bundle
pour 1/2 the sauce in a bowl to freeze for later
stir the spaghetti into the remaining sauce and add the water
cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes or so
pour into serving bowls,sprinkle with cheese and drizzle some olive oil over each serving

serves 3-4 plus you have 1/2 the sauce to freeze for another time


Pasta with tomatos and greens


a healthy pasta sauce. If you want a vegetarian version just omit the pancetta

1 bunch collard greens (about a pound) washed and chopped
1/4 pound pancetta diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

1 lb pasts shells or rigatoni

in a large sauce pan bring some salted water to a boil. Add the greens and cook about 15 minuted until tender. drain and set aside
Wipe the pan dry and add the pancetta. cook over medium high heat 5 minutes until starting to brown. add the olive oil and saute the onion 5 minutes until soft. add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds.
pour the tomatoes into the pan. bring to a boil and simmer uncovered 20 minutes

while the sauce is cooking cook the pasta acording to teh package directions. drain,reserving 1/4 cup pasta water

add teh reserved greens to the sauce and let cook 2 minutes.
pour the reserved pasta water into the sauce. add ground pepper to taste.

return the pasta to the pot it cooked in. ass the sauce and stir to mix well.
serve with parmesan cheese

serves 4



Pastitsio is very similar to a greek lasagna. this is basically the recipe from the Parthenon restaurant in chicago with a few changes. this recipe takes a while to prepare but is oh so worth it.  1 1/2 pounds of cheese,1 lb of butter and 2 lbs of meat, this is not a low fat low calorie dish.

Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
1 lb ziti or penne pasta
1 lb grated parmesan,romano or kefalotiri cheese (kefalotiri preferred but parm or romanao can subsitute)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 lb softened butter cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 Tbsp olive oil,divided
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
1 onion small dice
1/2 cup white wine
4 roma tomatoes,diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice

prepare the bechamel sauce and set aside (recipe below)
preheat the oven to 350
cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain well
pour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter,eggs and 1/2 the cheese. stir to mix well,set aside
heat 4 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. add the ground beef and lamb and cook until brown. drain the fat and add the onion. cook 4 minutes. add the wine and cook 5 minutes.add the tomatoes,tomato paste,oregano and allspice. cover and cook 15 minutes over medium heat.

pour the meat mixture into the pasta mixture and blend well
Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and coat the bottom.
sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cheese over the oil.
pour the pasta into the dish. sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cheese over the top.

bake at 350 for 15 minutes
lower the oven temperature to 325
spread the bechamel over the top. sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. 
bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes until golden brown

Bechamel sauce

2 cups milk
1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 lb grated parmesan,romano or kefalotiri cheese (kefalatori preferred but the others can substitute)
2 beaten eggs (room temperature)

In a small saucepan scald the milk.
in another saucepan mellt the butter
gradually add the cornstarch milk and nutmeg whisking continuously
add the cheese and stir to combine.
set aside to cool
when cool stir the eggs into the mixture.



This recipe serves 6-8


Cavatelli with Sardinian Sugo


This recipe originally came from rachel ray but I modified it. It is a moderately spicy pasta sauce. It has the advantage o  being fairly quick quick to make

1 lb cavatelli or similar dry pasta
14.5 oz can chicken broth (I use swansons)
1 lb ground pork
1/2 tsp saffron threads (3 or so pinches)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 medium onion diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil

bring water for 1 lb pasta to a boil

in a medium sauce pan add the chicken broth and the saffron. bring to a boil reduce heat to a medium simmer and cook until reduced by 1/2 (about 15 minutes)

in a  large saute pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. when hot add the fennel seeds and toast for 1 minutes. add the pork and raise the heat to medium high. add the sage,pepper flakes and paprika. cook,stiring frequently until the meat is browned. add the garlic and onions and cook 5 minutes more,until the onion is soft. add the tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon. bring to a boil,reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. add the basil and the chicken broth/saffron mixture. bring to a boil and simmer 5 more minutes.

while the sauce is simmering cook the pasta.
stir the cooked pasta into the sauce.

serve with romano cheese and crusty bread.
serves 4




all day pasta sauce


this is a very rich pasta sauce,it takes a long time to cook but most of that is simply simmering on the stove.

4 pork hocks
2 beef knuckle  bones or any beef soup bones
28 oz can tomato puree
28 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
15 oz can swansons chicken broth
1 cup red wine
1 onion diced
7 cloves garlic diced
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh oregano
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
olive oil

in a large dutch oven heat the olive oil. add the pork hocks and neck neck bones and cook until brown on all sides. remove from the dutch oven and reserve
add the onion saute until it just starts to turn brown. add the garlic and cook 1 minute more
add the puree,diced tomatoes,broth wine and paste.
return the hocks and neckbones to the pot. add the bay leaves.
heat to boil and the reduce heat to a low simmer. partially cover and cook 5 hours or so stirring occasionally. remove the hocks and neck bones.
remove from the heat and stir in the basil oregano and thyme. let sit for 1 hour. skim off any fat that rises to the top.
reheat before serving.