Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The honorary Italian

Today is a day off day from running. In lieu of that, here are some of my recent culinary creations:

On Friday, I made a homemade pizza. My whole-wheat pizza dough was topped with a locally made Canadian bacon, black and green olives, green peppers, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. But the star of this pie was my Mom's homemade pizza sauce. Mom and Dad canned a whole bunch of various tomato products this fall, and this chunky, spicy pizza sauce was one of their concoctions. Delicious stuff!

Friday's pizza with Mom's homemade pizza sauce



On Sunday, I made a chicken ragu. The sauce consisted of ground chicken (thighs, that is), pancetta, tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, and chicken stock. It was flavored with aromatics such as carrots, celery, onions, fennel, garlic, crimini mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms (with the soaking liquid added), fresh rosemary, herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning blend, and a healthy dose of crushed red pepper. I ended up with a delicious, somewhat lighter version of a Bolognese-style ragu that was complex, rich, and somewhat spicy.

Sunday's Chicken ragu over fusilli



I served it over tri-colored fusilli pasta. I know the Italians would probably regard it as a culinary no-no to serve colored pasta with a red sauce, since the color of the pasta sort of gets lost. However, this particular box of pasta was taking up valuable space in the pantry, so I wanted to get rid of it. That, and it is my dish, so I will do whatever I want! :)

Working towards becoming an honorary Italian,

Jean
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