Currently stress eating Bugles and dreading going back to NYC tomorrow after a lovely three days at home (lovely, minus my work inbox blowing up all day…the beauty of work email on your personal phone 🙂 LOVES IT).
I feel creatively repressed and personally stifled just thinking about going back to the office on Wednesday. Hence, the Bugle binge. It was so nice to be out of NYC for a few days, away from the crazies on the subway, the scents of the sewers and trash-strewn sidewalks, dealing with the MTA’s bullshit, the commute into and out of work, and of course, work itself. It’s so nice to wake up and be able to drink my coffee at a leisurely pace while watching daytime TV as opposed to swigging it down while simultaneously applying mascara. The pleasure to be had in taking a long walk while the sun is still up in the sky, or to be able cook or bake at 2pm is insurmountable. It’s so nice to have control over my own daytime schedule and not spend 10 hours a day split between commuting and sitting at a desk. I guess it’s time to become a stay-at-home cat mom, or a SAHCM. I must find a way to make this happen… even if means selling my soul to the devil (oh wait, I already did… JK).
I was able to spend some quality time with my brother and his girlfriend on Saturday, as well as with my parents. I also had a chance to hang out with my cousin at the Super Bowl party he hosted, and took a long walk with my other cousin (his mom) earlier that day. And then of course, there was the quality time spent with the family pets, which is the reason I came home in the first place – to watch them while my parents were away. I got in a couple of long walks with and without the dog, and ate a lot of deliciously unhealthy food – some of which I graciously shared with Ceely (the dog), as she came with me to the Super Bowl party with me.
Saturday night, after grocery shopping with my mom, I decided to make rigatoni Bolognese for my parents – they loved it!!! Such a great dish for the winter (even though the last couple of days were unseasonably warm).
Here is the recipe:
- 1 lb. of high-quality beef ( you can substitute in cooked brown lentils if you’re a vegetarian, or ground turkey if you prefer a healthier meat)
- 1/2 cup pancetta (OPTIONAL – I did not add this time, but I have in the past and it elevates to another level)
- 1 box pasta of your choice (rigatoni, spaghetti, penne, linguini all work great)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a large sauce-pan)
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry, white wine (Pinot Grigio works well!)
- 1 cup freshly shaved Parmesan (plus more to sprinkle over finished pasta)
- 1 large can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. dried basil
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- Salt and pepper (add to desired taste)
- Start by heating the olive oil in a large sauce pan over a low-medium heat
- Add in onions and cook until a yellow-y translucent color (about 6 minutes), stirring occasionally
- Add in carrots and celery and continue to cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally for another 5 min.
- Add in garlic and continue to cook and stir, being careful not to burn garlic
- Add in the meat (or cooked lentils) and cook for a couple of minutes over low-medium heat. If you’re cooking ground meat, break it up using the spoon or spatula (should not be left in large chunks)
- Add in the white wine and simmer for about 3 minutes
- Add in the can of crushed tomatoes along with the granulated garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, dried basil and oregano, and crushed red pepper; stir together and reduce to low heat
- Add in the small can of tomato paste and stir in thoroughly; continue to stir and cook over a low heat.
- After cooking over low heat for another 10 minutes or so, add in the heavy cream and stir
- Add in the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir and cook, making sure cheese is incorporated into the sauce
- Add in the fresh chopped parsley and stir
- I advise taste-testing as you go along (make sure meat is cooked through before taste testing!), to ensure the sauce has a good balance – feel free to add more salt, pepper, pepper flakes, oregano/basil, or sugar if needed
- Let the sauce continue to simmer over minimum heat and boil a large pot of heavily salted water for the pasta
- Cook pasta according to cook time advised on packaging; once pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and either add to sauce pan, if large enough, or back to pot and then add the Bolognese sauce into the pot of pasta – stir well
- Serve in bowls with freshly grated Parmesan over-top and a garnish of fresh parsley or fresh basil!
I cannot wait to be reunited with my cat tomorrow – I am going to take him out in his stroller since it is going to be about 60 degrees. I hope that the rest of this week goes smoothly and work isn’t too insane, like it was last week. It will be nice to get back to the city tomorrow and be able to organize myself, clean the apartment, and make a nice meal before going back to work on Wednesday… I’m already thinking about what I can cook. That’s how much I love cooking – I dream of what I will make in advance :p