July 21, 2011

Biker Food #1: The Piston Pasta

I told you already in a previous post that I consider myself Italian from the waist down. I therefore decided to share one of my most precious recipes for bikers. In Italy every biker worth his salt knows how important a good meal is before embarking on the next life-changing bike trip. As you know, Italians love pasta, and so do I.

So then, this is called the Piston Pasta, but really it's "just" a "simple" bolognese, also called "ragu`" in Italy. The whole process takes about 3.5 hours so this is no fast food. It might seem time consuming, but the result is well worth the effort, I promise. Once finished, as you are about to take the first fork-full of heavenly pasta, you will hear angels singing praise to your creation, thanking you for bringing a piece of paradise into this dark world of ours and.......well, you get the point.

If you follow this recipe you will have enough ragu` for about 10 generous servings. No point in cooking the whole day for only 1 meal. Put the rest in the fridge and eat within a week...or make your family and friends happy with a delicious jar of ragu`! This is how my mom taught me to cook it and her mom taught her and so on and on to the beginning of time itself.

 Ready? Here we go:

Take 1 whole carrot and cut in small cubes. Finely cut 2 onions and 4~5 garlic cloves into small pieces.

Chop a lot of fresh tomatoes (I had approx. 20) into small to medium size pieces

About 500gr of minced pork or beef (or both)

Also, 1 big tin of peeled tomatoes and 2 spoons of double concentrated tomato paste.

Some dried basil

Cold pressed olive oil (essential!)

Chicken or pork stock

Red wine (here, incredible but true, a very nice Thai wine from PB Valley in Khao Yai, )

Some sage...

Black pepper, grounded by hand like in the old days....but if you're lazy you can opt for the easy way


Heat up the olive oil in a medium sized pot. First add the onions and the carrot, fry with the pot closed on low heath until soft and brownish. Next add the minced meat with the sage. Add salt and pepper. Fry with the pot closed until the meat is cooked .  Now add a bit of red wine so the meat can absorb it.

Add the peeled tomatoes from the tin, the double concentrate and the fresh tomatoes. Fill up the pot completely...it will sink while cooking. Mix in the stock (1 piece) and the basil.
Now let the ragu` simmer on low heath for about 2 hours. Leave the pot open, stir from time to time and make sure the bottom doesn't start to burn up. Let the liquid evaporate and then add water again and again, until you can't see any single piece of tomato.

 The ragu` in the beginning
 After 2 hours, this is how it should look like

Choose a type of pasta. Luckily they sell real Italian pasta here in Thailand...
 (put water in pot, add salt, boil, add pasta, stir, DO NOT OVERCOOK, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!)

If you are lucky enough to have a dad in Italy who sends you big pieces of GRANA (also called "pasta cheese" by the culinary challenged), now is the time to grate some....

 I can almost see Frodo's ring fall down in this lavic deliciousness and melt away into mouthwatering, unspeakable pleasure....

 Serve hot with butter...

Serving suggestion: red wine, grana and maybe some white bread to make sure you scoop up every remaining spec of ragu` from your plate.

That's it! Not too difficult, is it?!
If you have followed these instructions and now you would like to thank me from the bottom of your heart (and belly) for sharing this with you, please do so here.


1 comment:

iktus said...

i'd leave away the basil, it should eventually be put on top of the ragout (it's a french thing, oh yess...) before serving, to avoid bitter taste, i've been told...