Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Lo Spezzatino della Nonna Antonia

In Italy whenever you see the word Nonna  in a recipe you think it must be really good, genuine and healthy. This recipe is from my friend Patrizia's mother Antonia and it's all of those things. In another post you will find the recipe for her Ragù. These two recipes form the cornerstone of her family cooking.
Today I made Antonia's spezzatino and a ricotta and spinach quiche, or Torta salata already in another earlier post. So today's shopping was for these two recipes and I made them at the same time, so enough for a couple of days.

Spezzatino dell 'Antonia

Spezzatino is a casserole made on the top of the stove, It never goes in the oven.

500g cubed, lean beef, coated with flour and herbs
500g passata di pomodoro
2 onions, finely sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
200g champignons, washed and sliced

Melt some olive oil and a knob of butter in a non-stick pan. When the butter is sizzling quickly brown the cubes of beef and then set aside.
In a large saucepan gently cook the onions and carrots in some olive oil on a low heat until quite soft.
Add the beef and stir well. Add the tomato passata  and stir. Add a small glass of white wine and let it evaporate, Antonia says that this takes the toxic substances out of the meat.
Season well with alt pepper and herbs of your choice.
Bring to the boil then turn the heat right down and let it simmer very gently with the lid half on for about 2- 3 hours or until the meat is tender.
Fry the mushrooms in a little butter and oil, season and then add a splash of brandy(if liked) and let it evaporate.
Add the mushrooms to the spezzatino and stir gently.

This goes well with mashed potato Italian style, Puree. Mash the boiled potatoes and then beat well with warm milk and butter until very creamy.season with salt
, pepper and a little grated nutmeg.

Brown the meat first to seal in the flavour

Cook the carrots and onions together

Fry the onions separately and add them at the end

Buon appetito

This Spinach and Ricotta pie can easily be made while you are preparing the spezzatino

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