Once upon a time, I made a lot of Italian food.  I cooked in several Italian restaurants in my youth and know my way around the regional differences pretty well.  From Milan to Syracuse, the foods are varied and wonderful and can range from three ingredients to twenty-three ingredients, all blending together perfectly. It’s a culinary wonderland.

And then I married an EyeTalian.

Well…  why would one cook Italian food when one has an Italian at home to cook Italian food for one?!?  I mean…  Mrs Dineen did not raise a stupid child!

Over the years I have happily given the Italian cooking reins to Victor.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that I don’t cook Italian, it just means I don’t cook it as often as I once did.

Tonight was one of those  nights I decided to go for it!

Arugula and Cheese ravioli were the inspiration!  I am a huge fan of cooked arugula.  I think more people probably use it as a salad green, but it is better than spinach as a side vegetable.

Tonight, I made a pretty simple meat sauce of mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and a carrot all minced together in the food processor.  I sauteed it and then added a splash of marsala (no red wine in the house?!?)  and then some ground beef.  When it was all cooked, I added a can of crushed tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and let it all cook down.

I sauteed a bunch of fresh arugula in a splash of olive oil and added a bit of garlic and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

That went on the plate first, then the ragu, then the ravioli, then a bit more ragu and a bit of freshly-shredded parmesan stravecchio.

It’s like riding a bike…

And, since I had the dough in the ‘fridge already, I baked off a loaf of bread.

The presentation was a lot of fun and the bread properly crispy on the outside and firm but light on the inside.

Yeah… like riding a bike.

And now for baseball!