I got to know about ragù just last year, in 2020. One of my favorite sources to learn Italian, were the comedy videos I found on YouTube (for example, Casa Surace). And that’s exactly where I started hearing time and time again about this traditional Italian recipe. In the beginning, I thought it was something like the Argentinian estofado and that it always had to have some type of meat on it. Later on, I would learn that there were multiple types of ragù. Even vegetarian or vegan ones! 😊
When I picked this recipe I was aware that this is something you usually add to other dishes. So, in a sense, it’s not a dish in itself. But, as it looked like such an important part of the Italian culture, I wanted to have it on my list 😄. The one I prepared is based on soy. So far I tried it with pasta, as a sauce. It could also make a great lasagne filling. A good alternative to the lentil lasagna I did in Week 7!).
Recipe of the Week: Ragù di Soia
The first ragù version was based on seitan. I was determined to prepare that one, but a week before cooking the recipe, a long-time Italian vegan recommended me to do it with texturized soy (TSP) instead. She said that most vegan versions were prepared with soy. One of the reasons would be the bad rap that seitan has gotten during the past years. People are looking to avoid more and more any form of gluten when possible. It’s true that some people who also avoid soy, but now there are better sources (non-GMO and even organic) available.
This ragù was very easy to prepare. I made a big batch and freezed many portions to eat with spaghetti or… some other pasta! It reminds me a lot to the bolognese sauce, as we prepare it in Argentina. Apparently, they are similar!
There are a few things I would do different the next time. The first is getting a better tomato sauce. To prepare this ragù I used a common bottled tomato puree. A normal over, easy to get in Buenos Aires. I noted a big difference with the Italian tomato puree I bought for the pizza napoletana.
One other thing I’d like to try the next time is cutting the carrot in smaller dices. The recipe asked for that -and you could see it by the end result-, but somehow I thought my carrots were small enough. They were soft and tender, but I think it would look nice with smaller cubes!
I added 7 new cards to my Anki deck, based on new words and expressions used on the YouTube videos used for this recipe. There were some words in this list that I already know, but I want to reinforce them. I used the Google Chrome extension “Learning Languages with YouTube” (from the same creators of “Learning Languages with Netflix”).
That’s all for now! 😊