What kid doesn’t like pasta? My kid’s favorite spaghetti sauce is from Patricia Well’s Trattoria cookbook, a collection of well written, easy to follow Italian recipes, nothing too fancy just delicious, homestyle classic meals. Meat sauces (Ragu’) generally require hours of cooking but this recipe calls for simmering for approximately 20 minutes. It has lots of flavor and tastes fresh and light. You start with a onions, carrots and celery which gives the sauce sweetness which appeals to kids. Over the years I have tweeked the recipe a little..like adding butter and basil to finish the sauce, yum.
So if you are looking for a meat sauce with kid appeal, look no further, this is it!
A little Dino to put you in the pasta mood:
- 1 small yellow onion chopped finely almost minced
- 1 carrot, peeled chopped finely almost minced
- 1 stalk of celery chopped finely almost minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 -1 tsp chili flakes (omit if using spicy Italian sausage)
- 8- 12 ounces of a mix of ground beef, ground pork and ground veal or you can use 50/50 beef and italian sausage, spicy or mild
- 1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
- olive oil
- 2 28 ounce cans of tomatoes ( San Marzano or domestic, Muir Glen)
- I use a food processor to finely chop the vegetables. Heat olive oil in saucepan (min 4 quart size), add onion, carrot, celery, parsley & salt; saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant and soft, add garlic cook additional minute. Add ground meats, cook over medium low heat, until meat is no longer pink. Break up any chunks of meat with a spatula while cooking. Puree tomatoes using food processor or a food mill. Do not over process, bits of tomatoes are fine, texture is good.
- Add tomatoes to pan along with chili flakes. Simmer 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. If you like a thicker sauce, leave uncovered, if not, partially cover during simmer. Taste for seasoning.
- Just before serving add 2 T butter and 1/4 cup julienned or chopped fresh basil.
Variations: Addition of 1/4 cup finely diced pancetta to ground meats, adds smokiness to dish. Instead of butter, finish off sauce with 1/4 cup heavy cream.