Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hearty Meals Mean Meat and Carbs

A quick trip to the grocery a week ago yielded this: ice cream, pasta, and makings of a meat sauce. That means ground beef and pork, garlic sausage and mushrooms. The meal won't be anything BUT light.

I want heavy meals. I resent light, wimpy meals because they make me end up eating more junk. Once I am full and satisfied, I won't crave for anything else. Well, except ice cream, of course.

My mom is the true origin of this sauce. However, she does not use the herbs and adds cheese or milk to the sauce to make it creamy. I cut that from the recipe and used herbs instead. I used fettuccine for this dish, but feel free to use any other pasta. Spaghetti will work, and I think penne will be perfect for it's saucy goodness.

So first, the ingredients:

500g fettuccine, cooked al dente
250g ground beef (or ground beef/pork mixture. some places allow that)
4 garlic sausage links, diced
small pack tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes (I like to use this for texture)
1 small can mushrooms, sliced
italian seasoning
bay leaf

Cook, cook, cook!

First, render the fat from the diced sausage. You know how longganisa because all yummy and flavorful once it gets a little burnt? That's what we're looking for. If the oil it renders is too little, feel free to add a bit of olive oil to help it along. After that, sautee the garlic and mushrooms in together with the sausage. If some of the sausage sticks to the bottom of the pan, that's ok. The stuck bits help the flavor!

Put the mushrooms/sausage mix to the side of the pan (like the picture) and cook the ground beef in the free space beside it. Allow the beef to caramelize, too. Once it's done, you can mix up together again.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Let it bubble a bit. Add the diced tomatoes and the bay leaf. Add the basil and italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. (or alternatively, you can season the meats before adding the tomato components). Let simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally. You make add some pasta water or red wine if you feel that it's too dry or if dries up while cooking. This sauce is particularly forgiving so if it dries up too much, just add more liquid.

Once the oil separates from the sauce, then it's ready. Serve it with the noodles. Sure hit! Chewy noodles, flavorful and meaty sauce all make for a wonderful dinner. You can make this ahead and it stores very, very well. If you refrigerate it, it'll last maybe 2-3 days. If you'll keep it longer, stuff it in the freezer.

One tip, make sure that the sauce is COMPLETELY cooled down before refrigerating or freezing!

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