Labor Day weekend was awesome. I ate like a pig, almost got stung by a bee and got to stroll thru more of my surroundings here in the D.C. / VA area. The GF’s idea of making dumplings was rad indeed on Sunday and we’ll have food for quite a bit now. One of the other culinary highlights for me was that we teamed up to make a dish that I’ve longed to make: Ragu. Not your store bought brand of Ragu pasta sauce but the Ragu where you slow cook meat in a tomato-ish wine sauce. Now who in the world told me it was a good idea to make something that would’ve been fixed by a jar? I’ll tell you who. Gennaro Contaldo.
The name might not strike a bell here in the States, but in the UK, he has a bit of a name for himself. The most famous thing connected to Gennaro that we Americans may know of is his protege Jamie Oliver. With the Food Network’s waning power on Cable TV, Jamie and his gang of cooks have hit the jackpot in the streaming world via Food Tube (which is conveniently on YouTube), and Gennaro is one of Jamie’s many associates dabbling out his foodcraft on the interwebs. Sure, it may seem trite that Mr. Contaldo hustles only in pasta, but that would be a lazy generalization. Thanks to him, my own preconceptions of Italian food have taken a hike. The GF has already made butternut squash pasta twice and below is my Ragu concoction with tagliatelle.
If you’re on the fence about Gennaro, believe me, I can relate. However, his bravado and knowledge is infectious and I would definitely encourage you guys to watch, learn and cook. He’s also got a TON of catchphrases, including his bombastic “WHY I’M COOKING SO GOOD!!!???” Gennaro’s videos all happen in 3 general locations, his own kitchen, in Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant and in his hometown, the Amalfi Coast. Below are some of my favorites, including his Ragu recipe. I hope you all will give his show and books a chance. Now watch, learn, cook and enjoy!