Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pasta Principessia

Mmmmm, pasta with beef and pork, quick and easy.  This is a version of my Mother's sauce which I am sure you will enjoy.  Growing up with an Italian Mother had it's benefits - we were the only kids on our block that ever ate eggs and salami, braciole, and homemade pasta sauce every Thursday and Sunday.  All four of my siblings make delicious versions of my Mom's sauce, but try as we might, it is never exactly the same flavor.  I think she has garlic in her pores.  Years ago we nicknamed her Principessia, Italian for "princess".  My Mom is now 88 years old, and doesn't cook anymore.  I miss it, very much.

I wished I had paid more attention to our times in the kitchen.  I should have taken notes.

Pasta Principessia

2 lb.s ground sirloin
1 lb.  thick cut pork chops, on the bone
1 small can tomato paste
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28-32 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup beef broth
1 T dried Italian herbs
2 t sugar
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1 lb. of your favorite pasta

In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 T of olive oil over medium heat, and brown the pork chops (seasoned with salt and pepper) on each side, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from pot, then add the ground sirloin and brown till no pink is visible.  Remove the sirloin from the pot, and drain off the fat.  Add another 2 T of olive oil to the pot, and lightly brown the garlic.  Stir in the onion and pepper, saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the tomato paste, and cook quickly for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the sirloin and pork chops back into the pot.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, 1/2 can of tomato sauce, 1 cup of beef broth, herbs, and sugar.  Stir well.  Lower the heat, and allow to simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You can add more beef broth if the sauce is too thick.

Meanwhile, prepare your favorite pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce, and stir well.

If you like, you can break up the pork chops so you can share with others.  Or, you can be selfish and take a whole one for yourself.  

Serve over hot pasta, be generous with the Parmesan and fresh basil, and enjoy - Eat Happy!

I promise you, it will taste like you cooked it all day, and you have garlic in your pores.


  1. you know what I'll be making for dinner today!!

  2. Mmm... The pork cooked in the "gravy" is one of my very favorite things!
    I've always said that Nan and Mom had flavor in their hands, and Cathy has inherited it.

  3. I made this yesterday and it was fantastic...thanks for the recipe!