My father is a very quirky man. In fact, I could author a whole separate blog about my dad’s quirks alone. But only one is important here. One of dad’s more comical quirks is his unique interpretation of the Italian names for food. Dad likes to keep an open dialogue in our family about the “correct” pronunciation and “Italian” pronunciation of words like mozzarella, manicotti, and a personal favorite (both to eat and hear my dad talk about) prosciutto. So when I couldn’t think of a title for tonight’s Italian meal, I thought, well, better call dad for some information, and that’s what I got!
So we just signed up for the coolest program, Blue Apron, which delivers fresh ingredients right to your door, every week, for 3 meals (which are meant for two, so I should get 6 meals out of it). The awesome thing is that they send exactly as much as you need; this is awesome for me because I find that the hardest part of food shopping and cooking, as someone living on their own, is buying the right amount of food such that I don’t have a ton of waste, while staying on budget. This is especially hard as we try to eat healthier because vegetables and fruits can go bad fairly quickly, but buying just enough for one is hard. And planning dinners all the time is hard! So this seemed like a really cool solution, and I’m going to give it a try.
Tonight I made Pasta Pappardelle Bolognese! And I got to use all of my new Christmas cooking supply spoils! Now, the recipe is on Blue Apron’s website, but I added a few things of my own, plus, pictures!
Begin by finely mincing 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot stick, 1 yellow onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 bunch of fresh rosemary. Here’s the best part about mincing: new knives and new cutting boards!!!
Rosemary is, hands down, my favorite herb. I think it smells and tastes divine. It takes boring things and makes them awesome. Chicken breast roasted in the oven? Yawn. Add some fresh rosemary? YUM. Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough my love for this herb. And ma, you grow your own! One of my favorite parts about coming home is that you use all fresh herbs that you grow yourself, right out on the deck!
Unfortunately, new sharp knives mean accidents happen. But hey, as we know from watching many, many episodes of Chopped, even the best of chefs have accidents.
After you’ve put on your bandage, boil some water and puts lots of salt in there. I know, I know. Lots of salt? Really? But I read this neat recipe that said even if your sauce is amazing, you need to properly season your pasta for an all-around good dish. So make sure you put enough salt! (Enough is a better word than alot).
Once you’ve minced everything, sauté aromatics (isn’t that a fun word? I had no idea that’s what you call this step, but I do it frequently!) in 2 tbsp. olive oil. Then, add in tomato paste! Cook until all the vegetables are deep red and everything smells amazing.
Next up is the meat. Add 8 oz. of ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until meat is browned. I added a few other spices too – some herbs de Provence, more rosemary (because yum), and other things that smelled like they would go from my spice rack.
While the meat cooks, cook pappardelle pasta for a few minutes until al dente (or as dad might pronounce it, “al-DENT”).
Set aside 1 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to meat. Add 1 cup of pasta water. Basically let this cook till you get impatient (so a few minutes). Add a few teaspoons of parmesan cheese and cook for another few minutes. The Blue recommends adding the extra 1/2 cup if you feel the sauce is too thick.
Garnish with parmesan cheese and then run off to your room to keep studying while you enjoy a delicious pasta meal!
I have to say, the sauce came out *amazing*. You could really taste the flavor from the carrots, celery, and onions. And the rosemary! Oy!
Well, I have to be off to bed. I’ve got a long day of studying to look forward too – and a delicious plate of leftovers for dinner tomorrow!
I almost forgot! I wore my new favorite kitchen accessory – my wonderful red apron. Although as my roommate Kim pointed out when she helped me take this picture, it would have been cool if I had a BLUE apron!! Get it??