Another good class at the Boise William Sonoma store. This one was about Italian cooking, specifically recipes adapted from Giada deLaurentiis’ book, Giada’s Family Dinners. Good things like Italian Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons – now there’s a switch and a good one! – or Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash or Linguine with Chicken Ragu. And to top it all off, a Chocolate Pizza. Yup! That’s right. A chocolate pizza! And it was delicious and very rich. There are photos below. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged. Cheers and enjoy!
There were some questions posed by the class and one was, “What is a ragu?” Basically, it is a meat based dish with some type of pasta, traditionally linguine. But a ragu can vary from county to county, city to city or family to family much like the American stew or a Basque paella. Here is what Wikipedia says about ragu.
In Italian cuisine, a ragù (pronounced [raˈɡuː]) is a meat-based sauce, which is commonly served with pasta. The Italian gastronomic society l’Accademia Italiana Della Cucina has documented 14 ragùs.
The commonalities among the recipes are all meat-based and all are to be used as sauces for pasta. Typical Italian ragùs include ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce), ragù alla napoletana (Neapolitan ragù), and ragù alla Barese (sometimes made with horse meat).
In the northern Italian regions, a ragù is typically a sauce of meat, often minced, chopped or ground, and cooked with sauteed vegetables in a liquid. The meats are varied and may include separately or in mixtures of beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game, as well as offal from any of the same. The liquids can be broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream, or tomato, and often includes combinations of these. If tomatoes are included, they are typically limited in quantity relative to the meat. Characteristically, a ragù is a sauce of braised or stewed meat that may be flavoured with tomato, to distinguish it from a tomato sauce that is flavoured with the addition of meat.
In southern Italian regions, especially Campania, ragùs are often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and possibly regional sausages, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are then removed and may be served as a separate course without pasta. Examples of these styles of ragùs are the well-known ragù alla Napoletana (Neapolitan ragù) and carne a ragù.
So there is how I spent my evening. Robin wants to go to the next class and I have her name on the waiting list. She may go in my place, but it would be fun to do together. Hope you liked this post. Chef Chad Poznick asked if we had any suggestions for these classes to please let him know. I suggested a class using rabbit. Cooking with wine might be another good one.