Here is why you should thoroughly read through a recipe you are prepared to make it: Penne with Meat Ragu
Here's what happened - I saw this recipe in a magazine that I found, Tastes of Italia. It was the front cover picture and it just instantly made my mouth water. So I scan the recipe for the ingredients, make my adjustments, and put it aside. The night...and we are talking week night here...I'm going to just "throw this together", I start putting ingredients in the pan and then I suddenly read a little further down through the recipe (which I had never read at all before this point) and it says "simmer for 3 hours". 3HOURS??? WHHHHAAAAT???? Ok, I don't have three hours..it's already 7:00pm as I'm doing this and I don't really want to eat at 10pm. So, I make the decision that 1 hour will be long enough. Now I'm sure that had it simmered for the full 3 hours, the flavors would have melded together even better, but I have to say, even after 30 minutes the sauce tasted wonderful.
So, even though it still turned out really good instead of turning into a disaster, the morale to this story is: Always read through your recipes!! Don't be like Jenn and think you know it all!
Penne with Meat Ragu
Adapted from Tastes of Italia
1 medium carrot
1 stalk of celery
1/2 sweet onion
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 oz ground beef
4 oz ground pork
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 cup beef stock (if needed to thin sauce out)
1 13.25oz box of whole grain penne pasta
In a food processor, add the carrot, celery, and onion. Pulse until diced finely. In a large wide pot add the olive oil and the chopped vegetables. Saute about 4 minutes or until the veggies are softened. Add the ground beef and pork and saute until brown, stirring occasionally. Add the pureed tomatoes and tomato paste if desired. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook sauce for 1 hour or up to 3 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally.
When ready to eat. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and toss with ragu. Use the beef stock to thin out the sauce if necessary. Serve hot, topped with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
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