Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fusion Italian Pasta Sauce

How fusion is fusion ?

I made a big pot of pasta sauce yesterday. I would not dare to claim that my recipes are 100 percent authentic true blue Italian style. I mean I do follow the Italian way as much as I can but some of the ingredients I used are not, so in a way I think they are fusion food. When I said fusion, I don't mean that you cannot tell they are Italian food anymore.

I remember my poly classmate told me that she cooked a very "mean" spaghetti sauce and her family loved it a lot. I asked for the recipe. She said she added Chinese shaoxin wine, soy sauce and sesame seed oil etc condiments. I almost laughed out loud in her face. Sorry, it does sound tasty and maybe adapted to suit her family. However, I think that is not Italian spaghetti sauce anymore, I mean it is so chinese that at most you can call it Sweet and Sour Minced Meat Sauce or something but definately not "Bolognese Sauce" !

I don't like those pre-cooked canned pasta sauce either and will always cook my own. Those canned version just needed to be improved. Some of them are too acidic and some has a weird western herb smell and some are just pretending to be pasta sauce when they are taste like some horrible sardine tomato sauce... I am referring to AyaX Brand (my mum brought it accidentally)

My Fusion Style Neapolitan Ragu Sauce
(Picture not nice, decided not to show) This recipe will make quite a big pot, so do take note. Do use a bigger pot to start with.
Ingredients

  1. Lean Pork - Cut into big chunks about 500 gms. Can use minced meat if you like, but 300 g will suffice
  2. Bacons - Chopped
  3. 3 Large Yellow Onions - Chopped
  4. 2 Med Carrots - Chopped
  5. 3 sticks of Celery - Chopped
  6. Quarter of Cabbage - Left-overs so chopped and throw them in too
  7. 3-4 tomatos - Squeeze out the pulp and diced them
  8. One can of whole tomato*
  9. One large can of tomato sauce *
  10. Some wine - I used DOM as there are no wine at home. For deglazing
  11. Olive Oil
  12. A teaspoon of chili powder - some Italian used them instead of pepper, but you can use ground pepper too
  13. Salt to taste (if needed) - I usually do not add anymore salt

*Note - They are unseasoned canned whole tomato and tomato sauce, not maggi or heniz tomato sauce

I cannot take beef due to religion reasons, thus I always used pork for my pasta sauce. If you want to use beef, by all means do so, but this recipe is not suitable for chicken. I adapted it from one of Jamie Oliver's. He stewed big chucks of beef instead of using minced meat for bolognese sauce to create what he thinks bolognese sauce would be like 100 years ago. I later found out that Italian called it - Neapolitan Ragu Sauce .

I called mine fusion because I added whatever vegetables, like in this case cabbage, I can find in the fridge. Also, DOM instead of wine as I don't have it at home. It is sweet by nature, so I think it can balance the acidic tomato sauce and make the sauce more robust and rounded in flavour. It may looked like there is lots of work to do with all the chopping. Don't worry, they don't have to be precisely diced or whatever. I am not that patient too. Just throw them into the food processor and pulse them. However, do take care not to chop them too finely as you do want some texture.

Method

  • Heat pot with some oil (high heat)
  • Fry the bacon to get the pork fat out
  • Then throw in the vegetables to sweat it out (cooked until a bit soft or transparent, but leave tomato out) starting with onion first
  • Throw in your meat chunks and fry
  • Pour in some wine to deglaze the pot, let the alcohol to boil away for a few seconds
  • Put in the diced tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes (cut with scissors into small pieces) and tomato sauce
  • Using the cans, filled both with water and pour it in
  • Let it simmer away for at least 2 hours before use

Ideally, the pork should be tender enough to shed it with a fork. However, my meat is too lean, thus a bit tough. You might want to buy other parts for this. When adding water, it is good to put more water upfront instead of later as it tends to boil away. Also, if you decided to add water at a later part, the sauce will taste diluted. I didn't add any garlic in the sauce, but do put it in if you like it. I like to add mine later when mixing it with the pasta. I also didn't use any basil this time around. You can put it in if you like.

Homemade Neapolitan Ragu Fettucini

- Pasta cooked until al dente
- Garlic (Chopped finely)
- Parsley (Chopped finely)
- A tablespoon of milk (optional, for richness)
- One and half ladel of Ragu Sauce

Add a bit of oil in a pan. Fry the garlic. Pour the sauce in. Can add a bit of water if it is too dry. Mixed in milk and parsley. Serve immediately with more parsley.

Fusion Aglio Oilo Fettucini

I sort of invented this version of Aglio and Oilo today. This is more fusion than the above. Can call it the Singapore's style. The basic olive oil, chili and garlic stays, some will add bacon bits and wine to it. Besides that, my version has lup chiong bits, DOM and parsley. (I just love parsley. )

Fusion Aglio Oilo Fettucini

- Pasta cooked until al dente
- Garlic (Chopped finely)
- Chili (Chopped finely)
- Parsley (Chopped finely)
- Bacon (Chopped finely)
- Lup Chiong (Chopped finely)
- Splash of DOM
- Pinch of Salt

Fry the Bacon and Lup Chiong in a oil. Add the Chili now if you want it to be spicy, otherwise later. Garlic is added later they tend to burn easily. Add pasta and mixed well with the oil. Then add DOM to deglaze the pan. If still too dry, add a bit of water. Pinch of salt to taste.

Another fusion dish - Hawallian Baked Pasta (Udon)




With the sauce, you can also do baked pasta. I used Udon to replace pasta in the case below. It tasted quite nice too. Hawallian meant pineapples! I love the cheese melts on top of the sweet pineapple, they tasted heavenly!

Method

Just place the udon in the baking dish, scoop some of the sauce over it, can add a tablespoon or so of water as udon tends to soak up the stock. Pile up with pineapples chunks, green bell peppers and of course cheese. I used chedar cheese, you can used mozzeralla too. Just baked until the cheese is golden brown !

Like what you see? There are more recipes under My Kitchen ! :)

2 comments:

日光。玉 said...

I think your food just looks so nice. =) U are really talented in this area!

Italiener Muenchen said...

I think your food just looks is so very nice.pasta salad can be as simple as a combination of elbow macaroni with mayonnaise, or may require a long list of ingredients in a mixture of different flavors. Easy pasta salad is served as a side dish calls Rotini, black olives, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette homemade. Leftovers can be touched up with bits of peppers or ham, broccoli, carrots, and add the cheese to create a filling lunch or a meal at dinner time. Using a tri-color pasta with peppers, red, yellow and green salad dressed with a light sauce makes a beautiful presentation that is pleasing to the taste when you use these ingredients, kalamata olives and feta cheese to create a tasty dish greek. Rigatoni with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and salad dressing stakeholder base seasoned with parsley, basil, thyme and oregano to make a salad Italian light.