As I was driving to work today, I was so excited about receiving my second shipment from Plated this afternoon. I planned my evening in my head. Because I would not have to go to the grocery store or think much about dinner, I could go for a run after work and throw in a load of laundry. Perhaps I would even get some other things done, too. The post-work part of the day was my oyster, or so I thought.
When I got to work, I checked my phone as I settled in for my day. Oh no!! I saw an email from Plated saying that my shipment was being sent to the wrong address! Over a week ago I had signed on to my plated account and changed my shipping address to reflect where I would be during the week. I was so sad – and after a phone call to Plated, we ascertained that we would not be able to fix the problem today. I received helpful customer service but I was disappointed that even though I had changed my address days before, it was not reflected in this week’s shipment. NOTE: If you do decide to use Plated, and change your address – it only affects your shipments from that point on. Not a shipment that you have already ordered and paid for. I guess that makes sense? But I thought I was all set because according to the website, my address change had been processed.
Just like that my day had changed. I had to think of what to make for dinner – which only bothered me because I was really excited about already having everything planned out, both menu and ingredients. Thankfully, I am almost always thinking about food – so I had a great idea. I had recently come across a recipe for Bucatini thanks to Bon Appétit and I had been craving it ever since I had seen the beautiful photograph and read the recipe. I was not going to make Bucatini, but something close. My own take on Bolognese… or something like that!
But before we skip ahead to dinner – here is a brief recap on other foods of the day. I was at work for a couple of hours before I got around to breakfast. I took five minutes out of my morning to prepare a healthy breakfast – a whole wheat English muffin, a tablespoon of cashew butter and a handful of fresh blueberries.
At noon, I walked to get a sandwich for lunch. I ordered a fresh turkey wrap with lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber and a thin slice of swiss cheese. I also picked up an amazing bag of rosemary and olive oil potato chips. The chips were so flavorful – but they were also a little rich (I guess I do not eat real potato chips all that much…) so I ate half the bag and gave the rest to a friend. We both agreed that they were amazing potato chips – definitely worth the splurge as long as I forget how much I like them!
After work I started my commute home. Thankfully Whole Foods is in the middle of my drive, so I stopped to pick up a few ingredients for tonight’s impromptu dinner. By this point I was pretty excited about what I was making – but I also opted to not get every ingredient I would normally use, because I was not going to have all day to cook my sauce. I skipped carrots and celery. I did pick up a small onion (because I had half of an onion in the refrigerator at home – which would not be enough) another garlic (because I have an awful habit of picking up one head of garlic every single time I am in a grocery store – even if we have garlic at home. Why do I do this!? I must have a fear of being caught without garlic… I feel the same way about onions and San Marzano tomatoes!) I picked up just over half a pound of Whole Foods 93% lean ground beef…. and two cans of San Marzano tomatoes, even though I knew I only needed one. The other would live in the pantry for a week or two…
Once I got home, I put away the meat. I ate a couple of Stacy’s baked pita chips. I had not eaten since lunch and I was forcing myself to go for a run and while I like running on an empty stomach, I find it hard to run when my stomach is grumbling. I had to force myself to go for a run today. I really wanted to read, or sit on the couch, relax before starting dinner. I thought about just doing a load of laundry and watching tv. But instead, I got ready for my run. I told myself – Just run for 20 minutes. That is better than nothing. I was hoping that if I started running, I could push myself to do more than twenty minutes. Luckily, that worked. I ran for 28 minutes and felt a lot better and accomplished after.
Back to the bolognese!! This is probably not a typical bolognese and maybe I should just call it a red meat sauce or a ragu.
1 onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
Butter (unsalted, about a tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 28 can of whole tomatoes (I always use San Marzano)
1/4 C white wine
.65 pounds of lean ground beef
Finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
To start your sauce, add about a tablespoon (or a little more) of olive oil to your pan, turn your burner’s heat to medium. Heat the oil while you chop up your onion. Once your pan has heated up nicely, add the onion and a pinch of salt to the pan. Stir the onion occasionally. Smash and mince your garlic – I used four cloves. Once your onion has started cooking, add your garlic to the pan. Once you add the garlic, you have to stir frequently so the garlic does not burn. After a minute, add your ground beef, breaking up the meat with a spoon once it is in your pan. Add one tablespoon of butter. Let the meat brown. (this will take a few minutes) Once the meat is browned, add one 28 ounce can of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes. Season ingredients with a 1/2 T of crushed red pepper flakes and freshly ground pepper. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste.
Stir to make sure the tomato paste is incorporated evenly in your other ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Once everything is simmering let it go for 30 seconds or so. Bring down heat to low, and continue to cook the sauce. Add 1/4 C dry white wine. Add a tablespoon of thinly sliced fresh basil. Taste your sauce and see what you think! Season with salt and pepper if you think it is necessary. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir everything together. Add a tablespoon of basil pesto if you have it – if you don’t that is totally fine.
Once all of the ingredients are in the pan, I like to cook the sauce on low for at least twenty minutes – but you can cook it longer. If you want to keep all the liquid in the pan, cook it with the lid on. If you need to evaporate some of the liquid, leave the lid off. If you ever need to add more liquid to your sauce, just reserve some pasta water once your pasta is cooked – it is a great addition to your sauce. Once our pasta was ready and our zucchini was steamed, I served everything up. Once I had the plates made, I garnished with more freshly grated parmesan cheese, a little basil and freshly ground pepper. The end result was pretty, flavorful and delicious.
Tonight it feels like fall instead of a summer evening in the middle of August – but I am not complaining! I loved having this hearty dinner tonight, especially after a post work run. I was so glad that I forced myself to go out and hit the pavement. This dinner was a sweet reward!