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Recipe for family meals :

Tuscan Meat Sauce

This recipe was sent to me by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration to me when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risottos over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Goodbye Shirley. You will always be remembered. I learnt a great deal from you.

"A very simple meat sauce adapted from the delightful 'The Tuscan Year' by Elizabeth Romer. The sauce will be richer if you use a mixture of meats".

Ingredients

1 medium onion
1 large carrot, peeled
1 celery stalk, with leaves
3 sprigs of Italian parsley
6 oz ground beef, pork or veal, mixed with some chopped
bacon or pancetta; or 6 oz Italian sausages split open
2/3 to 1 1/2 cups tomato puree, or fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped
2 Tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. spaghetti or any pasta

Method
  • Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot and parsley. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat up the two tablespoons of olive oil, add the chopped ingredients and allow them to soften.
  • Add the meat and mix everything together and cook over a gentle flame until the meat has changed color. Add the tomato purée or ripe, diced tomatoes. (Less tomato lets the meat flavor come through strongly; more tomato gives a more 'blended taste').
  • Simmer gently for half an hour and season to taste with salt and black pepper. If the mixture is too dry add a little more olive oil or tomato. Never add water.
  • Cook the pasta, drain and pour into warm a bowl. Add the meat sauce, stir, and serve. Parmesan cheese is optional.

Note:

You can make this sauce substituting mushrooms for the meat: about 6 oz. fresh mushrooms or 1 oz. of dried porcini mushrooms (soaked for 1 hour). Both these sauces
are excellent with pasta and polenta.

Serves 4 - 6

Shirley Cline

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