Meat Sauce

One of the best presents I’ve ever received was a series of Italian cooking classes. You know, the kind where it’s a bunch of strangers with a local chef who walks you through preparing a bunch of dishes while you’re all drinking wine. It was a blast and I still use those recipes to this day. This is based off of one of those. I didn’t make too many changes, just add a few additional ingredients and updated it for my Instant Pot. So instead of simmering for 2 or more hours, it’s ready is about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Meat Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (or more if you like garlic)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lbs chuck beef
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (Italian is best)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions

In a heavy pot (like a Le Creuset Dutch oven) or in an Instant Pot set to sauté, heat the olive oil and brown the chuck; about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add in the onion and minced garlic, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant. Add the chuck back in and the rest of the ingredients. If using a heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer; about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart. If using an Instant pot, set the pressure cooker for 45 minutes with the valve closed.

Serve over your favorite pasta.

Crab Fettuccine Rose

This recipe is based on one from Nadia G., who used to have a show on the food network called “Bitchin Kitchen”. It was awesome! I’ve only modified it slightly; taken some ingredients out and add more of others. Her recipe had you cooking and shelling 2 crabs. No thank you, I’ll just buy good lump crab meat. Plus I don’t remember what type of crab she was using. I prefer Dungeness or King myself, it’s the best. Also instead of using fettuccine I use egg noodles, I like the wider noodle; but you can use fettuccine as it does work well with this recipe. Enjoy!

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Crab Fettuccine Rose

  • 1 or so cups good lump crab meat
  •  Fettuccine or egg noodles, enough for 4 people
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 cups tomatoes, small ones like cherry or plumb, cut in 1/2
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Put a pot of salted water on to boil and cook the noodles until aldente.

In a pan, I like to use my Le Creuset Braiser, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and child flakes until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sea salt, brown sugar and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes begin to create a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Add the half-and-half and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil throw in the crab meat and the cheese. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Using tongs, mix the noodles and the sauce. It’s ready to serve.

Chicken Carbonara

Be warned, this is not a healthy dish! But it is oh so good! This is my take on an Italian favorite. Brings back memories of my first trip to Italy. We were staying at a “castle” near Montalcino. We arrived late and our host was gracious enough to make us dinner and it was carbonara. Quick, easy and delicious. He used prosciutto, which he carved off the leg that was hanging in his kitchen. I use bacon but if you want to be more traditional use pancetta instead. I like the smokey flavor that bacon gives this dish. I also cook my chicken using my Anova Sous Vide but you can cook it in the pot after cooking the bacon. Enjoy!

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Chicken Carbonara

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of bacon (or 6 of pancetta)
  • 4 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 chicken breast cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 lbs (1/2 box) fettuccine

Directions

In a bowl whisk together the cream, yokes and cheese.

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta, season generously with salt. Add the pasta once it boils and cook until done, about 10 minutes.

In a heavy pot, I like my Le Creuset Dutch Oven, cook up the bacon on medium-high heat with the olive oil until crisp. If you’re cooking you chicken in the pot add it here with the bacon. After about 4 minutes turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool slighty.  Add the pasta and then the cream mixture and stir to combine. Put it back on the heat at medium-low. You want to slowly bring it up to a simmer so as not to “scramble” the eggs. Once it’s up to a simmer turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you like you can garnish this with some chopped basil. It’s also good if you add walnuts, lemon peel, or parsley. You shouldn’t need to add salt because of the bacon but it’ll need some pepper.