Ah! This is my expertise! How about some classics:
Serves six to eight.Yields about 4-1/2 cups
enough for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds of pasta.
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 medium rib celery, finely diced
1 lb. ground pork (preferably from the shoulder)
1/4 lb. thickly sliced prosciutto di Parma, very finely diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, passed through a food mill to remove their seeds
1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth or beef broth
1/2 cup hot milk
Heat the butter and oil in a small Dutch oven or a wide, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re lightly golden and soft, 5 to 7 min. Raise the heat to high, add the pork and prosciutto, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the pork with a large spoon until the meat loses its raw color, 3 to 5 min. (the meat won’t brown). Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it’s almost completely reduced, 3 to 5 min.
Cook the finely diced carrots, onions, and celery in butter and oil until the vegetables are soft and turn light brown.
Small bits of prosciutto give the sauce rich, full flavor and a traditional Italian feel.
Add the tomatoes and the broth. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce at a bare simmer for 2 hours. Add the hot milk and simmer half an hour longer, stirring occasionally. At this point, the sauce should have a thick but saucy consistency and a light reddish-brown color. If the sauce has thickened before the cooking time is up, cover the pot. If the sauce is still too thin at the end of cooking, continue to simmer gently, uncovered, until it’s thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving tossed with your favorite pasta.
Adding 1/2 cup whole milk to the reduced sauce smooths out and enriches its flavor.
At the end of cooking, the ragù should have a thick but saucy consistency and a light reddish-brown color, tinted by the addition of the milk.
3 ounces pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausages, preferably fennel-flavored (about 1/2 pound total)
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
1 small green chili pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 eggs, lightly beaten
3 leaves fresh basil, torn into strips
Big pinch of dried oregano
Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, combine the pancetta with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat in the pancetta starts to run and the mixture begins to brown. Meanwhile, remove the skins from the sausages and break the meat up. Stir the sausage meat into the pancetta and brown thoroughly.
2. Add the bell and chili peppers, and onion, with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil if the pan seems dry. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and red wine. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble rapidly to reduce the liquid in the pan and make a thick sauce; very little visible liquid should be visible. Add salt and pepper.
4. In a bowl, combine the eggs, basil, and oregano. Pour the egg mixture into the tomato mixture. Cook, shaking the pan and running a palette knife around the edge to loosen it (without mixing it all up), until the edges set. Lift the vegetables and other ingredients gently to let a little of the egg run underneath. In the end you should have a layer of mostly vegetables on the bottom and a layer of mostly egg on the top.
5. Turn on the broiler. Stir the parsley into the vegetables. Slide the frittata under the broiler to set the top and brown it slightly. Serve with plenty of bread.
Enjoy if you make these dishes! Having wine in the recipes is not crucial but adds a rich taste to the dishes.