Foods from the Past: Tomato Ragu with Ground Beef in Ramekins

On the rare occasion that I plan my meals ahead and prepare extra for the coming week, I might come up with a meal like the following:

Tomato Ragu with Ground Beef in Ramekins

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It is essentially ground beef and sauteed tomatoes, with added herbs, vegetables and tomato sauce.  I’m calling it a ragu in accordance with what that word means in terms of the ratio of meat to tomato in Italian cuisine.  A ragu is typically a meat sauce with added tomatoes or vegetables or liquid, and that’s exactly how I like it–with more meat than sauce!

For this prepare-ahead meal, I sauteed tomatoes, onions, carrots, squash, herbs, and ground beef, adding a small amount of crushed tomatoes or plain tomato sauce at the end.  I then loaded the mixture into little ramekins to be heated in the oven.  At the bottom of some, I spooned a bit of cauliflower puree to create almost an inverted shepherd’s pie.  In others, I left space at the top so that I could crack an egg atop the ragu and bake (unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this).

As with most of my cooking experiments, a good portion of the dish finds its way into my belly before it makes it to anyone else’s plate or, in this case, into the fridge for a later time.  Here is how I enjoyed the first serving of my ragu:

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