Monday, March 5, 2012

Comfort Food

Pork sauce, aka meat sauce. To some, ragu, but not us. Occasionally I buy pork at a large supermarket in the neighborhood with this meal in mind. They label it pork fat, but usually it has very little fat, and what it does have can be trimmed easily. And it is unusually cheap, always, as if it was a cast off that they couldn't sell (seriously, like 2.5 pounds here for about $3). It makes good pork sauce, and carnitas en salsa verde, too. Tomatoes added, later.

Incidentally, I do not need a recipe for sauce, but I do like to look at recipes for sauce. Last summer I was shopping around for fennel seed seeds (Foeniculum vulgare, Finocchio Sylvatico) and I found a source mentioned on a website devoted to Calabrian cooking. The author of that site, Rosetta Costantino, had a cookbook, My Calabria. Betsy got it for me for Christmas. This is her sauce, but I added the little portobellos. Her sauce is my sauce. Many of her Calabrian recipes are a stones throw from what my grandparents cooked, in fact it's the closest I've ever found to their cooking, including their demand for fennel seeds! I think I would be a better cook if I lived in Calabria.

Those fennel seeds have been planted in the start tray, outside, in the, ahem, cold frame. Let's just say that its going to be pretty toasty in there. I also seeded some Finocchio Romanesco, the "bulb-forming" fennel. And, lastly, for now, some Cima di Rapa Sessantina, or broccoli rabe. It's an Italian spring, I guess. I'm opting out of brassica this spring, waiting for the more ideal summer planting, for which I have broccoli Romanesco, purple cauliflower, and two types of typical broccoli.

I had little to do at the beach farm today, but I had to pay my year's rent. The garlic is growing quickly now, putting on a couple inches since my last visit. The plot looks good -weeded, wood chipped paths, things growing. There will, however, be no garlic here next year. The NPS will be tearing up the whole Tilden garden in October and it seems they will do what they can to keep us from planting over winter. They've shortened the season to April fifteen to October one. They've no idea.

Extra virgin olive oil
Three cloves garlic
Sea salt
Pork meat, your choice

Pan fry the meat first, drain fat, cut off extra fat. Olive oil in a sauce pan. Add sliced cloves, but don't burn the garlic. Add meat, add tomatoes, add basil and salt. Low heat for as long as you need. Sauce should be thick enough to stick to pasta.


  1. Oct 1! i harvested 2# of lettuce last mid-0ctober, and i do'nt ever grow many season-extending crops.

  2. The garlic looks great in your garden.


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...