You may be able to find this pasta in your local grocers or upscale shop, but you can also buy it online. Here is one of what I am sure are many sites that sell this fabulous pasta. http://www.pellini-usastore.com/Pasta-Astorino-Maccheroni-Calabresi-11-lbs-8032601880134.htm
The Astorino website is very attractive, but of course all in Italian! http://www.astorinopasta.it/
On to the recipe!
Splash of Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound ground beef (Yes, I used the grass fed beef again!)
1/2 to 3/4 bottle red wine (I used Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon.)
2 (28 oz.) cans chopped tomatoes
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
2-3 Beef Bones (I had some nice rib eyes the night before. Cut the meat off the bone before serving and saved the bones for this sauce. You can skip adding the bones, but they give the sauce a great depth of flavor. Mom never put bones in her sauce.)
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, or to taste
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked off and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Pinch of hot pepper
Parmesan cheese for serving
Fresh basil, optional
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of Olive Oil, a little salt/pepper, and saute the onion and garlic until soft, but not browned. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the ground beef. (Make sure your meat is at room temp before adding to the hot pan.) Stir the beef to separate the meat and thoroughly incorporate the onion and garlic. Cook until beef is browned; about 10 minutes. Don't be concerned if it is not cooked through as this sauce will simmer for hours. Add fresh rosemary; oregano; bay leaf, hot pepper, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Add 2 cups of wine and reduce by half; simmering about 15 minutes. Add 4 Tbsp. tomato paste; mix well with the meat. Add 2 cans chopped tomato, with their juice, and mix well again. Add 1 more cup wine. Cover allowing the sauce to release steam. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Stir sauce every 20 minutes or so. Check for seasoning and if sauce gets too thick you can add a little more wine, beef or chicken broth, or water. Remove bay leaf and beef bones if you were using them.
Cook your spaghetti or whatever pasta you're using al dente and serve topped with Parmesan Cheese and a fresh sprig of basil.
While our sauce was simmering Leslie treated me to a delicious glass of wine.
"Perfumed, lush, and complex to start, then vibrant in the mouth, with excellent integration of flavors, acidity, and tannins. Tastes of fine tobacco, mulled blackberry, chocolate, and spices."
That's just about how we described it, too! It was perfect to sip a glass of wine before the meal and also a fantastic companion to the Spaghetti Bolognese! Thank you Leslie!
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP COOKING AND REMEMBER THERE ARE NO MISTAKES IN THE KITCHEN.
CRANK UP THE MUSIC, POUR A GLASS OF VINO,
AND ENJOY YOURSELF!