1 Down, 11 to Go

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This year, I made the resolution to read one book a month. I started with My Berlin Kitchen by the super talented Luisa Weiss. I’d been a huge fan of her blog, The Wednesday Chef and hoped her memoir would be as fantastic. It is.

She paints a beautiful picture of Berlin, and all the cities she loved along the way. Woven into her story are snippets of history and recipes that give you insight into each place she’s loved and lived.

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One recipe she shares is her ragu. It takes seven hours to make, and while it has a huge time committment, it’s simple to put together. I decided to give it a try. I’ve always wanted to have an Italian granmother to teach me how to make sauce and pasta.

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And now, I do. Well, sort of.

For February, I’m reading The Weird Sisters. It’s really good so far. Have you read it?

Ragu alla Bolognese

From My Berlin Kitchen


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 of a bottle of red wine
  • 1, 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt.

Put the oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the onion and cook. Stir often. Be careful not to brown them. This will take a little work and a careful eyel. Then, add the carrots and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Now, add the ground meat. Break it up. Make sure it cooks and breaks down uniformly. Cook until there is no liquid at the bottom of the pan. This will take a while. Really, it takes forever. Try to be patient.

As it cooks, puree your tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. When there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan, add the wine. Stir until it has mostly evaporated (2 to 3 minutes). Then, add the tomatoes and salt. When it comes to a simmer, lower the heat to the lowest setting and put a lid on the pot. Let the sauce go for at least three hours, but she recommends seven. Stir every once in awhile as you walk through the kitchen. At the end, adjust your seasoning to taste. This can be cooled and frozen for dinners later, which makes the long cook time worth while.


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