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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Penne with Meat Ragu

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'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
Printable Recipe 
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!

One Year Ago:  Classic Steak House Marinated Steaks with Red Pepper Aioli


Yenta Mary said...

Oh, I can practically smell that ragu from here! I cannot tell you how many times I've scanned and then found myself surprised by a little detail like "refrigerate overnight" or "simmer for 3 hours"! One would think I'd learn, but one would be wrong. This would not only be amazing on the first night, but just think how fabulous it would be the next, if there were leftovers??? Sigh ... :)

Angie's Recipes said...

The ragu looks to die for! I guess if I would have read "3 hours of simmering" first, then I would very likely give the recipe up. 1 hour seems perfect, then I would have some leftover for the next day.

StephenC said...

Oops. All's well that ends well.

Michael Toa said...

That happened to me before. I invited a date for dinner and not realising the lamb shanks need to be 'slow' cooked in the oven. I somehow missed that one crucial word.
The meat ragu still looks wonderful and I'm sure it gets better the next day if you have leftover.

SnoWhite said...

I've so done that before -- failure to read the recipes! Urg.

Looks amazing, though :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Jenn, that sounds wonderful, with LOTS of cheese!! Believe me, I've done the same thing with a recipe. I also tend to scan and jump right in. Good reminder to read ahead. LOL

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Don't you hate it when you overlook pesky details like that? The sauce looks fab, nice & rich and thick the way a ragu should be!! This sounds like a delicious recipe I'm bookmarking it, ya know, for when I have 3+ hours to make it :)

Big Dude said...

It looks delicious Jenn. I'm bad to do that with recipes but haven't done it since yesterday - tomorrow's blog post.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

My husbands favorite of all time. I'd get plenty o' lovin' if I made this tonight!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

egbkid said...

It looks delicious, who has three hours to let things simmer? Blah, i do silly things like that all the time, though. I forget something, mix the numbers up, or turn my back for to seconds and boom! Things go crazy, but usually turn out :-)

Jennifurla said...

I do this way more than I want to admit, and sometimes I did read through the directions! ha

Looks lovely.

Design Wine and Dine said...

Mmmmm! Looks warm and delicious! Who needs recipes and instructions?!?! :)

Chris said...

LMAO. Done it. Done it. Done it.

Mary said...

It looks appealing and I'm sure it is delicious. There is always a next time :-). I'd tell you how I know but then I'd have to shoot you. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Cheeseboy said...

I'm all for penne of any kind. I never use recipes but that could be because I never cook.