Saturday, May 1, 2010

Subbing in...

Not sure if it's my memory failing me but I don't recall going to any birthday parties anywhere near as cool as the ones I take my kids to. We've been to several lately that have been so imaginative and FUN.

The best part though is the new friends we have met through my son's preschool. They are the most wonderful group of parents and children. We are blessed.

We went to an amazing party today for one of my son's classmates. Pony rides, petting zoo, bounce house, balloon animals, a piƱata, slushy and popcorn machines. I may have been more excited than the kids. It was a blast, our hosts really outdid themselves. Thank you Ruiz Family!

When we got home from the party I had just enough time to make dinner. I had a pound of ground beef and two lonely Italian sausage links. I know my kids could eat spaghetti every day of the week so that's what I went with.

When I set out to make my regular recipe for  spaghetti bolognese, I realized I did not have bacon, dried mushrooms or white wine. What I did have was a bag of sliced cremini mushrooms, a green bell pepper, fresh thyme, some carrot sticks and red wine. So I set out to see if I could make a decent tasting sauce with these substitutions.

Turns out, the revised sauce tastes very close to what I usually make and made my family was just as thrilled.

Spaghetti Bolognese (Revised)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, pulsed in the food processor until chopped small
  • 1 cup of carrots,  pulsed in the food processor to a fine mince
  • small green or red bell pepper,  pulsed in the food processor to a fine mince
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, pulsed in the food processor to a fine mince
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic  
  • 2 sweet sausage links, removed from casings
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, 85/15 % fat
  • 1 cup milk
  • 35 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed into small pieces with your hands
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat up oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and bell peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the beef and sausage, cook for 2 minutes breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

Add milk and cook for 20 minutes more. Continuing to stir and break up meat until most of the milk is evaporated.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, thyme, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, stir to combine.
When it all comes back to a boil, turn down heat to a low simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Serve over pasta that is cooked al dente with a side of shredded parmesan.

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed at how you always think on your culinary feet! I missed you at the party, but someone *insisted* that Daddy take him...