Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Making that Perfect Pasta Sauce

Ok this is something different - a cooking lesson - and todays lesson is how I make that perfect pasta sauce.

The Ingrediants
There is really no right or wrong way to making a good pasta sauce, but certainly your choice of ingrediants will affect the outcome. I have kept this sauce simple and this sauce is actaully based on Jamie Oliver's Italian special where he chose not to use mince but rather cuts of beef.

I've also used Rosemary for that special flavour.

Yes I know, it is a pack of pasta. In a future post, I will show you how to make fresh pasta from eggs and flower...

Mmm Steak
For this dish, I have actually used steak, nothing expensive, just a cut of BBQ or Round steak. In the past I have even used rib eye!

Jamie's special raised some valid points and asked some serious questions -

1. If pasta sauces have been around well before stainless steel mincing machines, what did they use and
2. What exactly goes into mince anyway?

So starting with browning the onions and beef [with the rosemary] and some good olive oil, I added the about half a glass of the wine as required. This creats steam, sealing the meat and helps to prevent anything from sticking. The rest of the glass goes into the Passata which is simply tomotoes pure'd.

Season as required...

Slow Cooking Is The Secret

After a long slow cooking process, the meat will fall apart. Jamie used a high pressure cooker, but I have simply taken time - about 3 hours to cook this sauce on a low heat...

Cooking With Wine

My Mum's tip for cooking with wine is simple "if it ain't good enough to drink, it ain't good enough to cook with" and I think she has a good point, becuase it will affect the final dish. You will notice that I am using a white wine instead of a red.

Basically one day, I didn't have any red wine in the house, so used a white wine only to find that I actually preffered the flavour. It is interesting that on Jamie's special, he finds what he calls "a mumma" in Italy who also tells him the same thing. If you haven't tried a pasta sauce with white wine, I highly recommend it...



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