Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sugo Bugiardo or "Fake" Sauce

This recipe comes from a restaurant in Italy called Fattoria il Colle via a Tuscan food blog by Emiko Davies.  The sauce name Sugo Bugiardo indicates that the sauce itself is a fake or liar.   It contains a cheaper cut of meat such as sausage rather than beef.  These “fake” sauces came about when times were hard.  These are traditional peasant meals that “stretch” the food dollar to make an excellent, tasty meal with little money.  The Tuscan peasants used mostly leftovers to make these meals.  Traditionally, this meal is served with Pappardelle but I used Campanelle pasta which is shaped like a flower or  bell because I could not find any Pappardelle.  I liked the way this sauce tasted with the Campanelle even though it wasn’t what was recommended.  A good substitute that is recommended on some blogs is fettuccine.    

Sugo Bugiardo
Serves 6-8
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
Italian parsley
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ pound pancetta
4 Tuscan style sausages, taken out of their skin casings
1 glass of red wine
2 lbs canned whole tomatoes (plum)
Salt and pepper , to taste

1.       Prepare the soffrito (sauce base) by chopping the onions, carrot and celery finely and sautéing them gently in some olive oil.  When they are golden, add the pancetta and sausage meat, crumbled. 
2.       Brown the meat slightly.
3.       Add the glass of wine, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
4.       Bring it all to a simmer on low heat to reduce slightly.  Cook for 1 hour.
5.       Meanwhile, put on a pot of water to cook the pasta (this goes well with ribbon pasta like  Pappardelle or any long pasta). Even a bag of "noodle" type pasta would work.
6.       Serve with your pasta of choice, a sprinkle of parsley and some Parmesano Reggiano.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Marbled Gingerbread

This recipe is an interesting spin on classic gingerbread.  This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens website.

Marbled Gingerbread
Prep Time:  25 Min's
Total Time: 1 hr. 30 Min's.
Servings:  9


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup full-flavor unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.  For filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium  heat until smooth.  Beat in granulated sugar and 1 egg until combined.  Set aside.

2.  In a small bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add brown sugar, beat until combined.  Beat in molasses and 1 egg.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

4.  Pour about 2 cups of the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Pour filling over batter in pan, spreading evenly.  Spoon the remaining batter in mounds on top of filling.  Using a table knife or narrow metal spatula, gently swirl the batter into the filling to marble.

5.  Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Cut into squares.  Serve warm.  Makes 9 servings.

Test Kitchen Tip:  To make 1/2 cup sour milk, place 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in a glass measuring cup.  Add enough milk to make 1/2 cup total liquid; stir.  Let stand for 5 minutes before using.