This is part 2 of Beau Hoover’s guest post on cooking and studying abroad in Milan, Italy. He shares quick recipes for two simple pasta sauces: “Meat and Veggie Tomato Sauce” and “Pancetta Zucchini Olive Oil Sauce.” Click here for part 1 to read about Beau’s time at Luigi Bocconi University!
*photos credited to Beau Hoover
Beau is a fourth-year Economics student at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has traveled to 26 countries and 5 continents, he’s fainted a total of five times, and he’s a two-time North American Mountain Unicycle Champion. He shares his experience cooking while studying abroad in the pasta capital of the world: Italy.
As I mentioned earlier, I ate a ton of pasta while abroad. While my pasta-cooking skills didn’t improve, my pasta sauce-cooking skills certainly did. Kenneth and I were up to the challenge of developing homemade sauces, and despite what you may hear from Italians, it is very possible to purchase cans of pre-made pasta sauce in Italy. Here are a couple of go-to sauces that we frequently created:
Meat and Veggie Tomato Sauce
1 package pancetta (you may substitute ground beef)
1 jar peeled tomatoes
1 can/package mushrooms
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 package Gorgonzola cheese
Lots of salt and pepper
1) Cook pancetta in a big pan until nearly done.
2) Add peeled tomatoes and turn up the heat so the mixture boils.
3) Chop the zucchini into half moons and add them.
4) Chop up the mushrooms and add them.
5) Break up the Gorgonzola and add it, making sure it melts into the sauce.
6) Add lots of salt and pepper.
7) Taste to check if it is missing anything crucial (more salt? more pepper?).
8) Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
9) Once the sauce boils down and tastes good, add the cherry tomatoes.
10) Tear the basil leaves into half-inch pieces.
11) Serve over pasta.
12) Sprinkle basil leaves over sauce.
a) Add the zucchini earlier if you want it softer or later if you want it crispier
b) If you want a creamier sauce, add ¼ cup milk with the peeled tomatoes
c) If you need to thicken the sauce and you like egg, stir in a raw egg or two
d) As soon as most of the ingredients have been added, make sure to continually taste the sauce. You will likely need to add more salt and pepper
e) Onions can certainly be added to this recipe
Pancetta Zucchini Olive Oil Sauce
1 package pancetta
1 sliced zucchini
1) Heat enough oil to mostly cover the bottom of the large pan.
2) Saute the garlic cloves.
3) Cook the pancetta until nearly done.
4) Add the sliced zucchini.
5) Once the zucchini is cooked as you like, pour the sauce over pasta.
a) Add as much garlic as you dare
b) Additional Parmesan cheese to top your pasta is recommended with this recipe