You guys! This is seriously the best ragú recipe on the face of the earth. It’s obscenely delicious. I wanted to eat the entire thing straight out of the pot, by myself, with a spoon, and a hunk of crusty baguette. I literally had to do everything in my power not to eat it all by myself before my husband came home. For reals. And do you want to know what it’s the best ever?!? Well because it’s from my dear dear friend Aida’s new cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen!
It’s basically the best book out there. And I have officially made it my new go-to kitchen reference book. It’s LOADED with information from super simple techniques to fun ideas that you can use to explore your own creativity in the kitchen. Brilliant. I’m in love.
Aida is seriously one of my favorite people out there and she’s been my trusty resource for all things food for a number of years now! It all started years ago, but I knew after our 5 day road trip extravaganza to Austin, Texas we were going to be friends forever 🙂 It never ceases to amaze me how much that woman knows about food! It’s fascinating to listen to her talk, and now we can all enjoy her wealth of knowledge in her first cookbook! If I’m ever in need of a recipe, I know that I can always trust Aida’s to be polished and delicious.
If you guys only wanted to buy 1 cookbook for the rest of this year, this would be it! It’s the best. And I feel confident tackling any kitchen extravaganza with this book in hand!
And because it’s so amazing, and I think you should all have it, and I would buy it for each and every one of you if I didn’t have to pay my rent, I’m giving away 1 copy instead! Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your key to the kitchen is!! I’ll start… mine I always having fresh citrus on hand. You’d be surprised how much a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice can brighten up a meal! The winner will be picked next Wednesday on Halloween!
To celebrate the launch of Aida’s book, I’m jazzed to say that I’m part of a super fab virtual dinner party. You should check it out for sure.
Here’s where you can buy the book….
Real Deal Pancetta and Pork Ragú
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta cut into a small dice
- 2 yellow onions finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2/3 cup dry red wine
- One 28 ounce can tomato puree
- One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bunch basil leaves picked, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- Line a plate with paper towels; set aside. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about 6 minutes. If the pancetta lets off a lot of fat, discard all but 3 tbsp of drippings. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate and set aside.
- Return the pot to the stove over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and bay lead and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground meat and stir to break up. Once the meat starts to brown, after about 10 minutes, add the tomato paste and stir until evenly mixed. Add the wine, tomato puree, and the diced tomatoes with juice and cook until the tomatoes start to simmer, about 10 minutes,
- Add the milk, 1 tbsp kosher salt, and butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to very low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and reduced by about one-third, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Taste the sauce and add the sugar if the sauce is sour. Stir in the reserved pancetta, sliced basil and cheese; tate, and adjust seasoning as needed.