Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Ragu

It was a pretty decent weekend for running here in the Twin Cities.

Saturday morning I got up really early and was out the door at 5:30 AM. The temperature was 29 degrees with overcast skies and a fairly healthy dose of humidity (I swear days like this feel colder than a crisp zero degree day!). I ran 13 1/2 miles. It feels good to start logging some longer runs.

On Saturday, I believe I saw the first raccoon of the season. As I ran the trail along side of a creek, I scared up this large, rotund critter with a stump of a tail. It was still dark, so I could only see a silhouette, but I don't know what else it would have been. The weather has been nice enough that a few of them have probably emerged from hibernation.

Today I awakened to a 14 degree day with clear skies and relatively calm winds. I put in 7 miles and only saw one other person (a walker) the entire time. Lots of birds singing again this morning, most noticeably cardinals and chickadees, and even a robin.

(Incidentally, there has been lots of talk regarding the large number of robins in the Twin Cities this winter, which is somewhat unusual. WCCO ran a story on this. The reason many have stayed? They only fly as far south as they need to! Interesting stuff.)

For dinner tonight, I got in touch with my inner Italian (even though I am decidedly not Italian). I had not made a Bolognese-style ragu in quite some time, and I was kind of craving it. So I made this my project for the afternoon while the Daytona 500 qualifying was going on in the background (NASCAR season is upon us!).

Today's ragu consisted of ground lamb, Italian sausage, and a little bit of pancetta. Aromatic veggies included carrots, celery, fennel, red onion, and garlic. To make the sauce, I went with crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and beef stock. I used fresh rosemary as my primary herb, since it plays nice with lamb. There was also some crushed red pepper thrown in for heat.

Lamb and Italian sausage ragu over spaghetti that's good ragu... :)

Until next time,

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