And just like that, we’re back to braises and ragus. The persistent, unseasonable chill that has defined most of December has certainly driven our desire to tuck into bowls of warm foods, as evidenced by many of our recent posts, but I have yet to tire of any of them. I’m sure by late January I’ll be craving for fresh salsa and peaches and other warm-weather staples, but for now it’s time to get while the getting is good.
This time around, however, we shared the wealth. Michael has two visiting students in his lab who hail from Germany, and he promised to make them a home-cooked meal before they head back in January, so last Saturday we cleaned the house, ran to the store, and filled the house with the aromas of one of the best sauces to date that we’ve tried this year. It should come as no surprise that it’s from Molto Italiano as one would imagine Mario Batali knowing a good ragu when he tasted it, but still. Outstanding. So savory. It’s a Tuscan recipe so when combined with the papparadelle you’re not eating gobs of sauce, but every bite still has the perfect amount; any more on the noodle and it would be too heavy and weigh down the delicate pasta.
Making this meant that we really had no need for a second course, so instead I served those rotolinis that I had tried a few months ago. I did run into a bit of a snafu: Whole Foods only had fillo dough and working with that stuff ended in a complete disaster; fortunately the market beneath our apartment saved the day by having old reliable Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets that quickly defrosted when placed near the radiators and rolled into perfect little spirals. Not the lightest food to eat, for sure, but if you’re going to indulge in only a few courses–make them count.
We made no adjustments to Mario’s recipe so you can find it here–definitely save it for a day when it’s so cold that nothing but a hearty meat sauce will satiate your appetite.
With the whirlwind of activity about to descend upon us due to the Christmas holiday and prepping for New Year’s, posting will be light for the next week or so. We here at The Manhattan [food] Project wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!