As its impossible for me to write down a recipe on how I make a ragu sauce, I decided instead to make a flowchart with two feed options. For the minced meat I often use beef, lamb or wild boar. Sometimes I use a mix of minced beef and minced pork (common in Sweden). Lamb works especially well with the anchovy version and the beef with the ancho flavor. Sometimes I add one or two vegetables to the sauce, such as eggplant, carrot, parsnip, celery etc. For both options I add some stock, either my own or the vegetable base from “better than bouillon” (organic). If the sauce at the end needs a touch of ‘bite’ or sweetness, you can season with some paprika powder or/and brown sugar.
Serve with your favorite pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan.
Well Alice on her lovely Swedish food blog Brax on Food asked me for a kitchen confession and here is one of them…
The other day we had some friends over for spinach lasagna. Just a half an hour before everybody arrived there was a small crisis in the kitchen. I had forgotten about the cheese sauce on the stove, it cooked for at least 45 minutes too long. Even though it was on very low heat the sauce had separated and the cheese had transformed into some kind of porridge that was floating in the saucepan. It did not taste burned or bad it just looked a little uneatable. One solution could be to try to get some new cheese in the supermarket. But they would probably not have a great replacement for the Gorgonzola that was floating in my saucepan. I had nothing to lose, so I poured everything in the blender and out came the smoothest cheese sauce I have ever done…
(Serves 4-5 people)
You will need lasagna noodles enough for three layers. Precook the noodles in a big pan or use already precooked noodles.
2 bunches of spinach
3 cloves of garlic
40 ml (1/6 cup) tamari sauce
40 ml (1/6 cup) of water
Clean the spinach carefully and let it dry while you peel and chop the garlic into small pieces. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and the chili. When the garlic starts to get a little golden brown, add the spinach and sauté until it gets softer. Add the water and the tamari, cover the pan and let it cook for five minutes. If necessary season with salt and pepper.
blue cheese sauce
50 gram (about ½ stick) butter
50-60 ml (¼ cup) flour
700 ml (3 cups) milk
about 250 ml (1 cup) of any blue cheese (depending how strong taste you want)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and stir in flour. Cook under very low heat for 2-3 minutes. Constantly stir the flour mix. Add the milk gradually and stir to a smooth blend. Add the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Grease a baking tin. Start the layering with some cheese sauce and some spinach in the bottom. Keep layering with pasta in between layers of both cheese sauce and spinach. At last cover the last layer of pasta with only the sauce. Bake the lasagna in the oven at 375º for about 20-30 minutes. When the lasagna is nearly done sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan over. Put in the oven for further cooking until the cheese is melted and got a nice color. Serve with a nice mixed salad, for example arugola, apple, grated carrots and walnuts.
… and the guests loved the lasagna.
My sister dances tango wherever she goes. Barcelona, Berlin, Manhattan, Buenos Aires or the Pyrenees Mountains. Once she danced with a man who got so happy that he gave her a bottle of Bordeaux. Mushroom picking is also a thing my sister does well, and in her kitchen you will find glass jars of dried ‘funnel chanterelles’ (tratt kantareller), ‘king bolete’ (karl-johan) and ‘horn of plenty’ (trumpet svamp). My sister often crumbles some dried funnel chanterelles into her bacon sauce.
6-8 slices of bacon
½ or one onion
one clove garlic
tiny amount of chili
200 ml (0.80 cups) cream (or half and half)
150-200 ml (0.6-0.8 cups) cheddar cheese
(dried funnel chanterelles)
salt and pepper
Shred the bacon into thin slices. Chop the onion and the garlic thin and sauté them together with chili in some olive oil. When they are starting to get soft add the bacon and sauté them together until the bacon gets a little crispy. Add the cream and let it boil slowly for one minute. Lower the heat and add the grated cheese. When the cheese is melted, season the sauce with salt and pepper. Last night I served it over fresh pasta topped with fresh grated parmesan and a tomato salad with fresh cilantro balsamic vinaigrette. An earthy Bordeaux will probably work well whether it comes from a tango dancer or not!
In my pesto I use walnuts instead of pine nuts because it has a stronger taste. I have also done this with parsley instead of basil.
a bunch of basil leaves
2-3 cloves of garlic
ca 125 ml (½ cup) walnuts
ca 125 ml (½ cup) fresh grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a blender, starting with the basil leaves, garlic and some olive oil. Add the walnuts and for last the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. If necessary add more olive oil.
Serve with fresh pasta or egg pasta and a simple tomato salad. Great with red wine or a bubbly prosecco.
Some days ago we went into our favorite fish shop. We were actually supposed to have beetroots with goat cheese but as we are afraid our fish shop will close down we just had to support them. Oh well… we found some nice raw shrimps and some organic shampoo (as they have other things too) and went home.
Years ago I had a similar dish together with my cousin in Spain. Then we were sitting outside and fried the shrimps directly on a table cooker. Instead of lime we used lemon. This was not bad at all. Either then or now!
Heat up the olive oil and add chopped garlic and the chili pepper. When the garlic starts to get golden brown add the shrimps. Fry them quickly and serve them with finger salt and a slice of lime.
The shrimps are great as a starter with some cold white wine. They are also great with fresh pasta. Use the fry-juice from the shrimps together with cream. Add some salt and pepper, white wine and fresh herbs (such as dill, thyme). When the sauce start to boil, lower the temperature and add some Parmesan or other similar cheese. Poor the sauce over the shrimps and serve it with pasta and lime.
See also Grilled Spicy Shrimps