During the Spring 2012 I taught one of many interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. Each class is based on the preparation of a simple delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture.
Videography by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Click here to watch the videos in full resolution.
Buon divertimento!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spezzatino in bianco

For the videos of this class click here

Spezzatino means "little broken thing"->stew. In bianco refers to the fact that we are not using tomatoes. This is my mom's recipe! If you serve it with polenta, then I suggest to make it without potatoes.

Ingredienti per 4 persone:

- 1 kg (about 2.2 lb) of beef (manzo) for stew
- 1/2 cipolla (onion)
- 1 spicchio d'aglio (garlic clove)
- 1 carota (carrot)
- 1 stalk of sedano (celery)
- 2 patate (potatoes)
- 1 twig of rosmarino (rosemary)
- a couple of leaves of alloro (bay leaves)
- 1 dado (bouillon cube)
- olio d’oliva
- sale
- Optional: 2 pomodori (tomatoes) or passata di pomodoro (e.g. Pomì)

Procedimento:1- chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic
2- put in a pressure cooker with a little olive oil over low flame to make a sweat (soffritto). Then add the meat and the bouillon cube
3 -when the meat outside is brown (extra step: in a few years->add a glass of wine and let it evaporate) cover with water and add the [whole] rosemary twig, bay leaves and if you want other spices
4- close the pressure cooker and pressurize (i.e. until the pressure cooker begins to whistle), cook for about 10-15 minutes
5- depressurize, add the potatoes (washed and cut in big chunks) and cook again under pressure for another 10-15 minutes
If you use a regular pot or a slow cooker, cook at low heat for 2-3 hours, covered, mixing from time to time.While it cooks you can do your Physics homework ;)
If most of the water has evaporated, simply add water (you can make the stew more or less thick based on your taste)
6-when it is ready (be sure that both meat and potatoes are cooked and so soft that you can cut them with a fork) add salt if needed
7- you can make the sauce more creamy by mixing a spoon of sifted flour

Buon appetito!

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