September 22, 2014

2014 Cooking Tour

Maribel will be travelling to Massachusetts to teach Bolognese cooking as well as Cooking with Kale (Tuscan style). While the majority of the events scheduled are private events organized by friends, there is one event open to the public.

I will be teaching a cookery class on traditional Bolognese specialties at Shubie's MarketPlace in Marblehead, Massachusetts http://shubies-hub.com/

The menu selected is a typical informal meal with Bolognese friends; while generous in terms of number of dishes, the recipes are simple to make.

Our menu at Shubies is as follows:
~ with Italian Charcuterie, Seasonal Fruit with Prosciutto/Speck and Mortadella Mousse.
~ Pasta with Ragu Bolognese
~ Seasonal vegetable dish
~ A "Caprese", a Flourless, Moist Chocolate Cake
~ Italian Semifreddo with fruit garnish

Shubie's Signature wines will be sampled with the food.

In order to reserve your seat, you need to contact Shubies' directly at 781-631-0149.
Space is limited. Reserve Today!

While I am in the USA, our team will still be available to teach in Bologna so if you are in Italy, go ahead and write me an email (see upper right hand corner) to schedule a cooking lesson in Bologna.
Peach semifreddo

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free) 

September 20, 2014

Is It A Sauce Or A Ragu'?

Tagliatelle al Rag├╣ (Bolognese)
Ever wonder what the difference is between a Ragu' and Sauce? You might think that they are one and the same since they all go with pasta. But there are differences which I will try to explain.

"Sugo" or sauce is a general term that indicates a fluid sauce. It can be a simple tomato sauce like a marinara or can include whole plum tomatoes and some other ingredients, cut small.


A ragu' is a thick, chunky sauce usually made by cooking several kinds of meat in a sauce, usually tomato. That said, a ragu' can also made with seafood, vegetables or a combination of these. 


The most famous ragu's in Italy are the Bolognese and the Napoletan but almost every region (and sometimes cities) have their own ragu'. In fact, its not necessary to specify which ragu' you are preparing or talking about unless you are talking about a ragu' from a different town!


A Bolognese ragu' is made with ground meat cooked with vegetables and a small amount of concentrated tomato, added for color. The Bolognese ragu' is served with tagliatelle pasta. The Napoletan ragu' has lots of onions and a big chuck of beef that cooks in the tomatoes for many hours. You are supposed to serve the beef flavored sauce with spaghetti or linguine pasta and serve the meat as a second course. Still the "sauce" is considered a ragu'. The Pugliese ragu' includes several types of meats including ribs, porkchops and beef. The "sauce" is served with orecchiette pasta while the meats are served as a second course. And again, the "sauce" is considered a ragu'. 


Its interesting to note that East coast American-Italians call their meat sauce "gravy" instead of sauce. Its clear that the old timers who emigrated to the US wanted to differentiate the fluid, tomato sauce from the meat sauce; just like the relatives back home distinguish "sugo" from "ragu".


Buon appetito!