How Do You Do Pasta?

Our friends from Foodstand gave us a quick look at pasta just in time for National Pasta Day this Saturday, October 17th. They make a good point about the decline in its popularity due to the prevalence of lower carb, higher protein diets. Even our Private Cooking Classes show its #1 cooking class, Pasta Perfect, move to #3 just behind our Farm-To-Table and Easy Entertaining classes. So as a self-proclaimed pasta connoisseur, have at it this weekend. Go pasta crazy! There’s always Monday!

Don’t Be an Impasta – via Foodstand

Here’s our recipe for the perfect meat sauce. I used a traditional dry pasta, Spaghetti in the following pic. As noted in the recipe, a true Bolognese should be served with flat, wide pasta such as Tagliatelle, Linguine, or Pappardelle. Check back in a few days and I’ll have my fresh Tagliatelle recipe up. Until then, enjoy!





By Chef Flo

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Carrot, finely diced
1 Onion, medium, finely diced
1 Celery, stalk, finely diced
1 Garlic Clove, sliced
2 ¼ # Ground Beef, 15% fat or less
5 Roma Tomatoes, small to medium-sized, concasse (seeded & diced)
1-8oz can Whole Peeled Tomatoes, rough chopped, reserve liquid
1 cup Red Wine, favorite table wine
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper TT*
Grated Parmesan Cheese TT*, garnish
Parsley, finely chopped TT*, garnish
*TT means “To Taste” or season to your liking.

In a large heavy bottom saucepan, sauté carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Cook until soft and translucent. DO NOT BROWN!

Add ground meat to vegetable mixture. Cook on high and stir frequently to break apart ground meat. Cook until properly browned.

Once meat is cooked, add concasse tomatoes and sauté until softened. Then, add chopped whole peeled tomatoes, reserved liquid, red wine, and Italian seasoning. Simmer over low to medium heat for about 30 minutes or when liquid is reduced by half.

Once ragu is reduced, take off of heat. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with your favorite flat or wide pasta. Enjoy!

Makes 5-7 Servings

Serve with 1 ½ # (uncooked) Tagliatelle, Pappardelle, or Linguine; cook as directed.

Alternative Meats:
You can substitute a mixture of ground meats such as beef, pork, and veal. Use any combination adding up to 2 ¼ # of ground meat.

[SMN HEALTHY HOLIDAY Recipes] Italian Sausage and Squash Bolognese

Take this easy recipe to any Holiday party and I promise, you’ll be a hit! It’s amazing flavors of seasonal squash and amazing spices like fennel seed and oregano. If you like a traditional Italian bolognese then you’ll be sure to love this as well. The holidays couldn’t taste any better.

My favorite part about this is that your kids would never know the difference. All the squash in this dish is packed with Vitamin A, C, & E, potassium, and fiber. YUM with all the healthy benefits!

So first, pick you favorite winter squash. I recommend using either a butternut squash or an acorn squash, they have the best flavors for this recipe.

How to cook the squash (so that you never used canned squash again!): Preheat your oven to 375°F. Rinse your squash. Cut in half and remove seeds and the rest of the innards. Rinse again and pat dry with a towel. Season lightly with just salt and pepper. You’ll get a chance to season the dish once you cook the bolognese. On a baking sheet/tray, lay the squash cut side up and lightly drizzle with some olive oil. Depending on the size or your squash and type of oven you have, roast your squash for about 25-35 minutes or until fully cooked or tender. Set aside to cool. Once cooled off, scoop out flesh and set aside in a bowl. Place cooked flesh in a blender or food processor and pulse until squash is a thick puree. Set aside until ready to use! (This can be done up to 4 days in advance. Just keep it refridgerated in an airtight container. Or your can freeze it and keep it up to a month or so.)

So now that you know how to roast your own squash at home, go ahead and never ever use canned pumpkin or squash again!

Italian Sausage & Winter Squash Bolognese Ingredients (good for 8 servings): 1 lb of cooked squash (puree) or 1 large butternut squash or 2 medium acorn squash; 1 1/2 lbs of mild or hot Italian sausage (remove from casing); 1 1/2 lbs of penne pasta or your favorite short cut pasta (would be great with Tagliatelle as well); 3 tbsp olive oil; 1 medium onion; 3 cloves of garlic; 2 tsp fresh sage; 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes; 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 1 cup parmesan cheese; parsley (for garnish); salt and pepper TT.

If this sounds like something you want to serve up this holiday season and would like the recipe, just leave a COMMENT here on this blog, EMAIL me at, TWEET me at @servemenow, or LIKE me and on!

Stay tuned for more Healthy Holiday Sides! Happy Cooking!