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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cooking: The Secret to Quick and Delish Spaghetti Al Ragu

I know that pasta is one of the easiest things to make at home. And among those, spaghetti al ragu, or bolognese as it's known here, is one of the easiest to make. But I wanted to share a revelation I had recently about what makes the sauce taste better.

I usually start by sauteing the ground beef with some minced garlic and chopped onions in olive oil, then add San Marzano canned tomatoes and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. I know the OG recipes for ragu require a mix of ground pork and other meats but consider this al ragu light when in a pinch.


The upside is multi-tasking is easy for this recipe. You can bring a huge pot of water to a boil while you do this so that by the time the sauce has simmered for a while, the water will be ready and you can throw in the spaghetti to cook it for about 9-11 minutes (add salt to the water).

All you need to do for the sauce is season it with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and the secret ingredient to making it taste not as bitter from the tomato sauce is sugar! I add a little bit of agave to the sauce and presto -- you got a nice bowl of spaghetti al ragu. Ok, the OG recipe may call for tomato paste instead of crushed tomatoes and may require a trio of carrots, onions and celery for flavoring but I said it was al ragu light!

This was an epiphany for me (the adding sugar part) so hopefully it is helpful for your pasta cooking adventures too.Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan and you're good to go.

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