Dinner, Entrees, Meat, Pasta

Valentine’s Day Bolognese

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I read a lot of other people’s blogs and the first place I go to is the About Me section.  I want to know who I’m reading about and I want to know everything about them.  Where do they live?  What do they do for a living?  How old are they?  How did they start blogging?  If they blog for a living, what did they do before?  Do they have kids?  Are they married?  Do they live near their family?  Very rarely does the About Me section satisfy my curiosity so that’s how I get sucked into the rest of the blog.  I spend hours digging through articles to find the answers to all of my burning questions.

So if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what my relationship status is because I never talk about it on here and what better time to talk about my love life than the week of Valentine’s Day.  Short answer is that I’m single as fuck.  Have been since I divorced my ex-husband.  And before that I had been single for most of my adult life.  I’ve had serious relationships here and there but mostly I default to single.  I’m good at being single!  I’m also good at being in a relationship but sometimes being single feels easier to me.  Even on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re doing the math, I’ve spent the majority of Valentine’s Days not in a relationship but that hasn’t made the day any less special for me.  I love what people call Hallmark holidays and I love this one in particular because it’s about love and I love to love.  I also love red hearts, anyone who has received a text message from me can confirm that.  I’ve done some pretty fun things to celebrate the holiday when single like go to a Mexican wresting match, host dinner parties for my other single friends, take weekend road trips with my girlfriends, and I once hosted a screening of The Last Seduction.

Before my last relationship I felt really alone in my singledom.  I think that’s what led me into that relationship.  I was desperate to not be alone and I was willing to look the other way on a lot of things just so I could be in a relationship.  But post-divorce I rarely feel that way and as I sit here in my bed, with my dog curled up next to me, I feel so incredibly loved.  I have so many good friends that care about me and support me, my family is the best and it never ceases to amaze or touch me how far they are willing to go for me, and I am always meeting people along the path of life who remind me that I’m not in this alone, that we’re all in this together and that being lonely is a choice.  I’ve decided to choose to let every shred of love that comes my way in and it feels great.  The love I’m surrounded by may not be romantic love but it fills my heart just the same.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to meet my Mr. Right but in the meantime, until I meet him, my heart is full.

This year I’ve decided to spend Valentine’s Day celebrating the most important love of my life, Me.  I have a pretty spectacular date planned for myself which includes my favorite indulgence meal right after boxed mac and cheese, pasta Bolognese, also known as spaghetti with meat sauce.  But it’s not just any spaghetti with meat sauce, it’s going to be made with grass fed, pasture raised, breast fed, home schooled beef that was sung lullabies every night before it went to bed.  It will cost a fortune and I will enjoy every bite of it.  I also put a lot of fun things in the sauce like red wine and cheese.  It’s good.  This dish is also the perfect Valentine’s Day meal because it’s red, like a heart <3 .  After dinner I’m going to go to the Korean Spa where a middle aged woman who speaks no English will wash and scrub every inch of my naked body, then massage me down with oil and rinse me off with warm milk.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had this experience, believe me.  It’s life changing.  Then I’ll come home, snuggle in bed with Mr. Tippy and have an amazing night’s sleep.

Mr Tippy Sleeping

I mean, how cute is this little guy?!?! If you wish the blog were just pictures of my dog check out his Instagram @TippyOtis to get your fix. Yup, I did that.

All this for me because the most important love I will ever have in my life is my own and just like any relationship it gets to be nurtured and tended to.  So this year is all about me.  And if you want to make this decadent dinner for yourself or another loved one, here’s the recipe for pasta Bolognese with love.  <3

start the water boiling at the same time

First things first, you want to start the water to boil for the pasta at the same time as the Bolognese because pasta always take way longer than I think it will.

Next step is to put about 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in your other pot and let it heat up until the garlic starts to sizzle pretty hard.

Toss in your ground beef and then break it up into chunks as it browns. I like to smash it with the flat end of a wooden spatula to increase the surface area that comes into contact with the heat.

 

When it starts to cook it will most likely start to release a bunch of liquid. You want to add a pinch of salt at this point and continue to cook it so that the water boils off.

NOW it’s browned. See those browned bits? If you can’t, see the browned bottom of the pot? That’s also a good indicator. Now that the boring meat liquid is gone we are ready to add some fun liquid… red wine!

So I got distracted arguing with people about politics on Facebook so I just threw the glass of wine I was drinking into the pot because things were moving from brown to burnt quickly. We are going to call it a 1/2 cup in the recipe below.

It is very tempting at this point to call the sauce done but trust me, you want to give the meat and the tomato sauce time together. Let them make their magic.

There probably won’t be any real rush because the water still won’t be boiling. Why does a pot of water take so damn long to boil?!?!

Once the water does start to boil though, toss in the pasta and check on it to make sure you don’t let it over cook.

Once the pasta is almost ready to be drained, get a bowl and ladle out about 2-3 cups of pasta liquid.

Drain the pasta and then toss it into your sauce which should be nice and thick by now. Add one to two cups of pasta liquid.

Add your cheese and mix well. The pasta liquid has magic in it that keeps the cheese from clumping and allows it to melt into the tomato sauce. It sounds weird but just do it.

Now you are ready to EEEEEAAATT!!!!

Delightful Recipe

Serves 8 people or 1 person and all of their emotions
Adapted from My Brain

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb of the highest quality, most humanely raised and slaughtered beef you can afford because this is made with LOVE
  • 1/2 cup of red wine from a bottle that you will drink with your meal
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Put a pot of salted water over high heat to boil for the spaghetti.
  • In another pot, add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper.  Heat over medium high until the garlic starts to sizzle pretty vigorously.
  • Add the ground beef and break it up into chunks with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.  Get the pieces as small as you can so that the meat browns evenly.
  • The beef will start to release liquid which you want to cook off.  You will know the beef is browned when you can see browned bits on the beef or when there are browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pot. When you see this, it’s ready for the next step.
  • Add the red wine and cook it until the beef has absorbed most of it and it has stopped steaming so hard.  This should only take a couple minutes.
  • Add the marinara sauce and stir well.  Now let that cook down for a bit.
  • Your water may or may not be boiling at this point but cook the pasta according to the package instructions but be sure to check it to make sure it doesn’t over cook.
  • Right before the pasta is done, get a small bowl and ladle out about 2-3 cups of cooking water and set aside.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce which should have cooked down and thickened up a bit by now.  Add 1-2 cups of the pasta water to the sauce and then add the Parmesan cheese.  The pasta liquid keeps the cheese from clumping and sticking to the pot and the spoon.  It allows it to melt into the sauce.  I don’t know how but it works.
  • Serve topped with more Parmesan cheese and a glass of red wine.
  • Sit back and appreciate yourself for making something so amazing.

COMMENTS

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