Snacks On Snacks

30 Oct

I arrived home in San Diego for a quick overnight visit and was greeted by these.And promptly concluded that msupermom had lost her mind.  Or (as is actually the case) my parents are hosting my sister’s medical school classmates for the month of October and these medical students BYO’d some crazy snacks.

This is a little more like it.

Orecchiette with Meat Sauce

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced carrots
3 tablespoons of chopped basil
1 pound of ground beef (4% fat) or ground lean turkey
2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes (no sugar added), blended
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1-2 bay leaves
Small piece of lemon rind (2 inch by 2 inch)
Salt & pepper
1 box of orecchiette (or other pasta of your choice)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
This is not unlike our basic tomato sauce, only with meat.  Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and 1 tablespoon of basil in olive oil on medium to medium-high heat.  Saute until the onions are translucent; the vegetables should be al dente (4-5 minutes).  While the vegetables are sauteing, season the ground beef or turkey with nutmeg, bay leaves, lemon rind, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Cook the ground beef or turkey for 10 minutes or so, using a spatula to separate the meat so it doesn’t cook as one big piece.  Add blended tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir the tomatoes until well integrated with the meat.  Let the meat sauce cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes (or as long as a half hour for a thicker sauce).
While the sauce is cooking, cook your pasta in boiling, well salted water (as a rule of thumb, salt the water to the point that it tastes like broth).  Do not add oil to the water.  And stir once, only.  Stirring your pasta while it cooks encourages the starch and makes it gluey.
When the sauce has reached desired thickness, take it off the heat and add remaining basil.  Add cooked pasta to the sauce pan and stir gently.  Sprinkle with Parm and serve.  (Make risotto – and then suppli – with any leftover sauce!)

One Response to “Snacks On Snacks”

  1. mao October 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Des, you take the most wonderful pictures!
    I can’t belive that the actual food looks so good.
    I want to make it again and enjoy it even more the second time around since it’s so pretty!
    That was funny! Great immagination!

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