Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Garden Ragu

Summer's here and like most cooks, I'm faced with the 'what will I do with all these excess garden veggies'? I'm not certain all the rains we have been seeing is helping things along just a mite.. but I can't recall ever having so much zucchini, squash and eggplant, at least not all at ONCE!

As I picked over each plant the other day, I was reminded of an old Italian neighbor, Mrs. Savero. She was kind of a throw back in time, sort of a young Sophia Loren, if you remember those days, and wore many familiar 'Sophia' dresses while gardening! She was quite the site and of course many of the local fishermen would be happy to visit and bring her the 'catch of the day'. In exchange she always offered up her best garden vegetables. My Dad was among these fishermen. I remember him coming in one night with this large toureen filled with this marvelous smelling concoction, given to him by Mrs. S. It was one of the best vegetable dishes I've ever eaten, and have made it every summer for over 30 years now. The only difference is, I usually wear a sports bra and running shorts when I'm in the garden, though always bare footed, seldom a low cut, off the shoulder dress!{wink} So, if you have abundant summer veggies growing in your gardens, try this delicous dish! Here's my version of Mrs Savero's Summer Ragu.

· Veggies from the garden:
1 Eggplant, 2 cups green beans, 2 yellow squash, 2
zucchini, 1 red pepper, 1green pepper, 8 Roma tomatoes, 2 small new potatoes.
Cut all vegetables bite sized & set aside. Cube eggplant and set in colander
and sprinkle with salt after each layer. Allow to set 20 minutes or so and
rinse well. Pat dry, squeezing out excess moisture.

· Saute in a large pan ½ cup extra virgin olive oil:
2 chopped onions, 5-6
garlic cloves, 1 cup mushrooms. When onions are nearly transluscent add ½
cup dry white wine, a good sprig of fresh thyme, and 5-6 torn basil leaves.

· Toss in all the vegetables now along with 2 TBLS marinara sauce or tomato
paste, Italian parsley, 2 tsp sugar, ground pepper and sea salt & the juice
of one lemon . Allow this to simmer for an hour or so until vegetables are
tender, but haven’t lost their shape.

Serve this ragu warm or room temperature, with lots of Pecorino cheese. You’ll be eating bowlfuls of this dish.. it’s that good! ;) Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We do this too, Jady! A little sprinkling of grated parmesan on top and you're good to go. Some crusty italian bread..a glass of!