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26 September 2012

Pita Bread with Italian Tomato Meat Sauce & Salad and the Town of Isola del Liri


Pasta con ragu' is eternally welcomed with excitement on the table from the littlest person to the biggest and I'm always happy to see empty plates after the clanging of the forks on the plates.  It's one of those successful dinners that rubs off the tiredness of putting together a good, healthy dinner.  When I cook ragu' alla bolognese (tomato meat sauce), I make sure that it's more than what I need to pour on spaghetti for four.  I segregate the other half of the pot for something else, for the next meal. 


 That next meal invokes more squeals of excitement on the table.  Warm pita bread, ragù, corn kernels, tomatoes, salad, onions, sometimes thin strips of carrots and cabbage or whatever I can extract from the fridge are all laid out on the table.  The colors of freshness feast our eyes. And that's dinner.


One thing I like so much about pita bread is the flexibility of stuffing it with anything you want.  And it's usually the best time to take out the leftover chicken, mixed with a variation of vegetables and sauces. The possibilities are endless. But, from our table to yours, this is something that we love very much.  Who knows, maybe you will like it too and find a place for the excess ragù you have in the fridge.  


Everytime we are in the area of Frosinone (close to Rome) and see the signs leading towards Isola del Liri, I always wonder if it's really an isola (island).  It is in the middle of the two arms of Liri river. 


Finally, a couple of days ago, we took the exit and followed the directions to this town. The night before, I already checked it out at the internet and understand what the town is known for.  There is the Castello Boncompagni-Viscogliosi, a 12th century fortified palace dominating the town with the waterfall Cascata Grande flowing beside it.  It was picture perfect!  If you want to learn more about its history, click on this link that takes you to Life in Italy.   

Hoping you are all having a great week!



Pita Bread with Italian Tomato Meat Sauce & Salad

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 2 pita bread
  • ragù alla bolognese (tomato meat sauce) (Click on this link for the recipe or scroll down.)
  • canned corn
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (or more)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • salad
Directions:
  1. Pat bread with wet fingers to give a bit of moisture.  Put in a bread toaster  to warm up.
  2. Make a slit on the bread on one side to create an opening to the pocket.
  3. Fill up with the tomato meat sauce, cherry tomatoes, onion, lettuce & corn.

 

Ragù alla Bolognese (Tomato Meat Sauce)

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 130 g. tomato concentrate or paste
  • 125 ml. Marsala wine 
  • 125 ml. water  
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 carrot, finely chopped 
  • 100 g. ground veal or beef
  • 100 g. ground pork
  • 125 g. passata di pomodoro (tomato puree)
  • salt 
  • pepper
 Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix the tomato concentrate, Marsala and water then set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, sautè the garlic with extra virgin olive oil.  When it turns golden brown, discard.
  3. Add the chopped onion & carrot. Toast for about 3 minutes then add the meat.
  4. Pour the tomato concentrate mixture & tomato puree when the meat changes color.  Cover.  Simmer for an hour on low fire.  Stir occasionally.  If the sauce is drying up, add hot water.
  5. Season with salt & pepper.