Welcome. So, you're looking for authentic Italian. From what I've read, there are very few recipes that can call themselves authentic, as usually, every family has their own recipe. We had some wonderful Italian ladies who cooked lunches at one of the schools I went to as a child. Their take on Pizza was a soft, thick crust, very yeasty and good, topped with crushed tomato and ground beef. Very little seasonings were added. And yet, we ate it with abandon.
Pizza made in Rome is different than pizza made in Naples, for instance. And if you live in coastal regions, seafood is the order of the day, where as more stew-like, and hearty dishes with lots of fat come from Northern Italy. Different areas also favor different pasta shapes.
We have had various DC members from Italy who swear tht there recipe is the authentic way of making this or that. There are also Italian members who give their best recipes, and take in new and interesting ideas, and understand that there are many ways to do just about anything. Here's my take for a simple ragu (tomato meat sauce):
19 oz. can tomato puree
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbs. dried sweet basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves minced garlic
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 tsp.dried Thyme
1 tsp crushed, dried rosemary
1 lb. ground beef, or
1 stalk celery thin sliced
1/2 lb. 89/20 ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
Salt and pepper.
seat onion, carrot,and celery in 3 tbs. olive oil until onion turns translucent. Add minced garlic, ground beef and ground lamb and brown over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring every ten minutes, for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the fridge overnight. Heat and serve with your favorite pasta the next day.
You can use crushed tomato, or diced tomato in place of the puree if you want. You can also add sauteed mushrooms, sliced olives, hard Italian cheese, etc. You can also use meatballs instead of ground beef in the sauce.
If I;m making a shaped pasta like shells, cavatapi, rotini, penne, etc, I like to add 2 cups of water to the sauce and cook the pasta right in the sauce until al dente.
Add ricotta, or cottage cheese to this sauce to turn it into a sauce for stuffng manicotti, or for use with lasagna. Add cream and more meat to make a Bolognaise sauce. Omit the meat and it becomes a French Mother sauce - Sauce Tomate.
Other veggies that work in this sauce are fresh tomatoes, summer squash, spaghetti squash, peppers, both ht and sweet, and egg plant. And so,what region of Italy are you interested in. There are members on DC who are experts.
Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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