Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My children are...well...I love them to death, and when they ask me to make them something that they love, I try to oblige. As with most children, spaghetti with meat sauce is high on the favorite list and my kids asked me to make it for them recently.

I know, I isn't exactly the most interesting meal in the world, but I honestly believe it is one of the most comforting meals we can eat. I guess it appeals to our memories of childhood, I don't know. Anyway, I was asked the other day what meal I would ask for if it was to be my last. I think this would be it. But then a pig out on wine and cheese followed by a butt load of chocolate just might be it too. Hopefully I'll never have to choose.

One thing I know about meat sauce is that everyone has their own way of making it and they generally like it the way they make it. So, with that in mind, I won't go on about how good my sauce is. I like mine the way I make it and that's all that matters to me. I'll just share it here for those of you who may like to have a go at it.

This is not a traditional Bolognese sauce. Traditionally, Bolognese is a ragout which is a sauce of beef, pancetta, onions, garlic, tomato, broth, wine and herbs. But the recipe is somewhat like Borscht - everyone has their own version. What this is is a meat sauce which is bulked up with sausage. The ingredients are ground pork, sweet Italian sausage, red wine, balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, zucchini, oregano, anise, salt and sugar.

This is the Italian sausage. I like a sweet sausage for the kids, but personally...I prefer a hot sausage for myself.

A Pelee Island Merlot is the wine I chose for the sauce.

The sausage is cut into 1 inch lengths.

A heavy bottomed pot is ideal for slow cooking a tomato based sauce.

Brown the sausage....

...add the ground pork...

...when the sausage and pork are browned...

...splash in some wine. Simmer this out for a few moments while you enjoy a few sips of some wine.

Add in some grated carrot and zucchini...

...and some minced onion and garlic.

Cook all these ingredients out for about 20 minutes over a high heat.

Add crushed tomatoes...

...and give everything a stir. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add sugar, salt, anise and oregano.

Add balsamic vinegar and stir everything together.

Reduce heat to low and cook out for about one hour.

Add tomato paste.

Cook the sauce for another 20 minutes to 30 minutes and it's done. Serve with linguine, garlic bread and Caesar salad.


Anonymous said...

Wicked meat sauce recipe, can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

You should have some detailed descriptions on some of the wines that you have listed on your blog.

Livingston Cooks said...

I think you're right! The truth is that I wasn't sure anyone would really be that interested in my descriptions and I don't take wine all that seriously. I like what I like and I know when I have found a good score for my taste. But if describing the subtle nuances of the flavor of a wine is what you mean, I don't feel qualified enough. BUT...I will begin to add my descriptions as best as I can.

Thank you for the input!!

Anonymous said...

yes thanks 4 this
cheers mate!

Livingston Cooks said...

Hey, no worries, man. Why don't you tell me what you like to drink. I'd be interested to hear.


Anonymous said...

I like mostly whites like a good sauvignon blanc, and chardonnays. I like the brand Fat Bastard from France. The chardonnay from Francis Ford Coppola was alright. I also like some reds like Pinot Noir and Cab Sav's to name a few but I want to broaden my horizons. I always feel so naive when it comes to ordering wine. I like your blog and you have so many wines so I would like to hear your take on some of them. Much appreciated - Jane

Anonymous said...

nothing better than spaghetti!!!!!!!!