Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Real Deal

It seems in this day and age that there is a "chef'" popping up whenever you turn on the t.v. The Food Network has exacerbated this phenomenon. For the past 15 years or more the once little Food Network has made many foodie stars; some from real restaurateurs, and others from what it seems thin air. Sadly, I must say, some who have been the real deal have "sold out" to commercial America. I thought of this while walking down the aisle of my local Target yesterday. There in the kitchen section was a "Paula Deen" line -- a fabulously butter loving cook from Savanna, GA whose career the Food Network launched into outer space. She was not my beef, because she was a pull yourself up by the bootstraps cook. It was Giada de Laurentis. Her line hit me like a pie in the face. Giada was a French Cordon Bleu graduate with a decent show on the Food Network, Everyday Italian. As of late, however, her new show has gone down the toilet with mediocre quick fix foods. As I starred at her pasta sauce for $2.99 I thought of Marcella Hazan. The master of REAL Italian cooking. A woman who has not sold out, but has left a legacy of tried and true Italian cooking. I came home, opened my favorite cookbook, and began to cook her bolognese meat sauce. Here it is. Not like any other sauce you have tasted or made. Not even close to a bottled sauce Giada! It is the REAL DEAL!

Put 1 Tbsp olive oil & 3 Tbsp butter in a pan. Turn heat to medium and cook 1/2 c. chopped onion until wilted. Add 2/3 c. chopped celery & 2/3 c. chopped carrot. Cook for two minutes.
Add 3/4 ground chuck & a large pinch of salt & a few grindings of pepper. Cook, crumbling the meat with a fork, until all the red is gone. Add 1 c. whole milk. Stir frequently until the milk bubbles away. Add a small grinding of nutmeg -- 1/8 tsp. -- to the meat. Add 1 c. dry white wine. Let it simmer until it has completely evaporated. Stir thoroughly every so often. Add 1 1/2 cups canned ITALIAN IMPORTED tomatoes, cut up with their juice. It is very important to use the real deal, or it won't taste right. Stir everything well, and when the tomatoes start to bubble, turn the heat low. Let the sauce cook uncovered for 3 hours. Stir it from time to time. When sauce is done toss with cooked, drained penne (my favorite) with Parmesan on the side.

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