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, ragu', 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 ragu' 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
  • ragu' 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.

 

Ragu' 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.



18 comments:

  1. I love pita sandwiches, these look fantastic - I'd like to tuck into one right now!

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  2. Your posts always make me wish I lived in Italy.

    I have been meaning to make a batch of ragú; like you, I always, always make a huge batch so I can freeze a good portion of it for later use. Haven't tried it with pita bread like you've done here but what a great idea. :)

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    1. I also freeze the other half of the big batch of regu' that I make or sometimes this pita sandwiches grace our table. This is a big-time family favorite. I hope you will like it too!

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  3. I also always freeze half of the ragù I make because it is such a perfect dinner for kids and adults alike. I have never thought of using it in pita bread, and since I just learned how to make the latter, it is a great idea.

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    1. Like you, I also freeze the other half of the big batch of ragu' that I cook. But sometimes, these sandwiches are a way to use the remaining sauce and everyone loves it!

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  4. Your pita pockets look so delicious! I've never thought of stuffing them with bolognese sauce. Brilliant!

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    1. It's worth a try Tessa. It's delicious!

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  5. What a lovely, colorful sandwich!

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  6. I look at the vibrancy of colour in this: and it makes me feel happy. I look at the variety of tastes: and I cannot wait to taste! Your beautiful ragu is such a classic from my childhood, where all three meats [beef, veal and pork] were meant to play roles! Classic, simple and unforgettably delicious! Oh, twixt working out when I could replicate, loved the photos also!!

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    1. The vibrancy of the colors of fresh food make me happy too like you. It gives you a promise that you will eat something good and healthy. Thanks!

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  7. Oooh, that sauce is like magic! Nothing beats a nice ragu like that! Our whole family is crazy about tomato meat sauce, yum yum!

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    1. Maybe your kids will like this, just like mine. It's something that the whole family enjoys!

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  8. When I made the meat sauce (in common Japanese way), Italian bloggers told me it's exactly same as how Italians make. We use both pork and beef in our meat sauce while Americans use mostly beef only. I never had meat sauce for pita bread and now you got me excited to try another variation with meat sauce! Looks so delicious and this will be my kids and my favorite lunch!

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    1. Mixing both kinds of meat is the Italian way alright, sometimes, also with a third kind of meat which is chicken as what a butcher once told me. I like the ragu' better with pork & beef rather than beef alone. This is surprisingly good for a quick meal Nami. My kids are crazy about this!

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  9. This is such a neat idea, i woul dhavenever thought to stuff a pita with "meat sauce" and the fresh veggie totally take t his to the next level! Love this Rowena!!

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    1. Thanks! It is a strange way to stuff the pita bread but I thought I had to share it as there are 4 of us here who love it so much!

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I would love to read what you think!