Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I made some "everything but the kitchen sink" spaghetti sauce the other day.  Standing orders of trying to get veg into the g'kids.

Get the 'ol magic pot out and pour in a good glug of olive oil to cover the bottom of the dutch oven about 1/8 inch or more.  Dice up the biggest onion in the bag and cook it down for about an hour on really low until the onion is almost mush.  Nice and golden and mush, throw in about 600 g of a mixture of ground pork and beef and brown it down till no liquid is left and the meat is nice and dark brown...just short of burnt.  Throw in about 5 garlic through the press, 1/2 bottle of whatever red wine is sitting out on the counter, a good shot of balsamic and lea and perrins. cook down till liquid is all absorbed again.

Meanwhile I threw in a handful of baby carrots and 1/2 a red pepper into the food processor and pulverized the whole mess up.  Next time I will roast these up in the toaster/convection oven first.  I opened all the bags of frozen leftover tomato sauce bags ( plus a small probably 1/2 a can of paste that was also in the bowels of the freezer.) I  found in the freezer plus a can I found in the pantry.  I ended up with a good 6-7 cups (both the 4 cup measure and the 2 cup measure were full to overflowing) tomato, carrot, red pepper mixture.  Then I spied a baby yam that someone left in the toaster/convection oven from the night before.  So I took it out of the skin and mashed it up and poured the whole mess of tomato,carrot,red pepper + the yam over the mess in the dutch oven.  I probably started this whole process around 9:30 a.m. and just let the whole thing cook down all day long.  So by evening it was cooked to death.  I added a couple shots of hot sauce and red pepper flakes and italian seasonings from the spice rack.  The day before I found a huge bag of frozen pesto that I made last summer that I didn't even know existed.  I did the whole "happy dance" when that happens. After I turned off the sauce around 3 pm to cool down I added a huge dollop of pesto sauce and some strange sharp cheese I found in the drawer of the fridge and a handful of parm.  I was watching a marithon session  of "lidia"  episodes months ago that were all stacked up on the pvr and she mentioned /chastized all viewers to "never cook the pesto" .  Who knew???? So since then I "never cook the pesto".  And I gotta's a good rule.

So while the sauce was "resting" I cooked up the spaghetti and made a ceasar salad.  Then warmed up the sauce just in time for the presentation.

IT WAS THE BEST SAUCE/GRAVY I MADE IN A LONG TIME. Too bad It will never be duplicated again.  I don't know what brands of tomatoes I was using, plus I was adding things all over the place,  but damn it was good.  And for a change the pot was absolutely full to start with.  And I was determined to have lots of pasta leftover for some spaghetti pie the next day.

Of coarse by the time I looked in the fridge the next day to access the leftover situation I noticed a consideral drop in the pasta container, and the sauce container.  Obviously the brownbaggers got to it.  It's a good thing I threw two big bags of sauce in the freezer....out of site.  Cause I had to make some additional pasta if I was going to get anything to line a pie plate with.

I've been trying to make spaghetti pie for months.  And last nite it finally happened. was very good.  I'm going to try....this everytime with leftover pasta.  Just have to make a huge pot of both to begin with. Maybe next time on a weekend so the brownbaggers won't walk out the door with so much.

I even made a special trip back home to pick up my huge binder of recipes that I've been ripping out of magazines and copying out of books for the last 20 years (pre internet access).  Just to get the recipe that I've been saving for years...that I really didn't need or use anyway.

Looks like it was typed.  That's how old the darn thing is.  And it's not really a recipe for leftovers....

So this is what I did instead.

about 9oz leftover spaghetti (probably about 6 cups loosely measured cooked) 3 eggs (though 2 would have done just fine) a handful of parm ...some sauce is usually ladeled over the spaghetti just before serving and mixed up to them pour however much sauce you want at the table.  So the pasta had a little bit of sauce mixed in it the night before, but only enough so prevent it was sticking up into a clump in the fridge.

I lined a quiche pan with it to form a crust (next time just for something different I plan on topping this with a sheet of parchment and weights and precooking it just a bit to make it crunchier)  then dump a container of cottage cheese into a sieve and drain most of the liquid out of it before topping the pasta.  Smear the whole mess with leftover sauce probably I used about 4 cups give or take.  Then throw some cheese over it, and into the oven for about 20-30 minutes, let it sit for about 10 min and serve.
Damn good.

There was a slice leftover...but I searched for it this was gone before i was out of bed...probably in a lunchbag miles away.....

I've been trying to decide if I should transfer my binder over to I think I would miss the page flipping discoveries in the old binder.  The computer just isn't the same.  Everytime I go through the binder searching for insperation I discover things I didn't even know I saved.  One just can't experience that on a computer screen,  just like I really hate reading books this way.  I don't know how anyone enjoys reading this way.

Also discovered a whole wack of frozen bananas in the same freezer with the bags of odd leftover canned theres banana bread in the works for today.  There just isn't enought junk food in this healthy house.  So I better start making some or I will surely starve...late at night.

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