Monday, December 8, 2008

My Favorite Pasta

Whenever I want to make a quick and easy dinner I think of this pasta dish. It's great if you cook for two or for a crowd. I've made it about thousand times and we love it every time we eat it.

It's almost like a simple meat sauce, but I spruce it up with onions, garlic, mushrooms, sometimes I add zucchini and/or yellow squash. You can serve it with thin spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, or any kind of pasta you wish.

This particular sauce I made using about a 1/2 pound of ground beef, and a package of Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage , and that makes this taste superb. I never keep proportions making this dish, it's always a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and every time comes out better than the last time. That night I used a large jar of Prego tomato sauce. Sometimes I make my own sauce by adding canned crushed or diced tomatoes and some tomato paste. This time we were starving and I always have a jar of tomato sauce in my cupboard, so whay not to use it.

So, to start I sliced a medium onion and crushed few garlic cloves, add some olive oil to the pan, heat on medium, add the onions and garlic, saute together until onions become translucent. Quarter few mushrooms, depends on your likings - I love them, so I put quite a few of them, I cpooed them roughly, to keep larger pieces. I want my sauce to have this nice, rustic feel. Add mushrooms to onions and saute together. Once done, I transfer it to a bowl and add meat to the pan. Cook the beef and sausage until done, I like the sausage without casings, but it's your preference... mix the mushroom onion mixture with meat, add tomato sauce, stirr wel to incorporate everything. I usually spice it up with a little crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper. I like to cook it all together for at least 15-20 minutes, it makes the sauce taste better, and the flavors mix in. Actually if you can make it the day ahead, it's best the next day!
You can serve it like that or you can add some heavy cream to make it more creamy, if you add creme, make sure you bring it to a boil. Check if it needs salt or pepper, season to taste. Cook your favorite pasta aldene, and serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with paresan cheese and some fresh basil leaves.
Garlic bread and nice bottle of Argentinian Gascon Malbec wine would go nicely together.

Bon Apetit!

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