Monday, January 22, 2007

Two Things

Happy Monday, everyone! I just had a great weekend and am ready to attack all the items on my to do list of personal and professional endeavours today. Meanwhile, I have a couple of things I'd like to share before starting my afternoon:

1. Let's discuss little Bindi Irwin, the little daughter of Steve Irwin, the late Australian naturalist and "The Crocodile Hunter". Truthfully, I'm in no situation to judge anyone, but I'm just so completely confused at the family's capitalization of fame resulting from Mr. Irwin's death in September 2006. I've seen news of Bindi's speaking at Steve's funeral (which apparently caused quite a splash), late night show apperances, news specials, magazine articles, and now she's starting a new show of her own! I'm just concerned that an eight year old seems to be thrown into the spotlight at such a young age and wish her mom reigned in the little girl's ambitions during this vulnerable time. Did they even take time to mourn? When I die, I want people to be really, really sad for a couple of months, then move on, but geeeez, have some respect!!

2. I made some of my homemade pasta sauce last night and MAAAAN, was it good!! If I do say so myself... I haven't made it since last February in Houston - when Finley was born, I made it for the crazy Darby household to help out with feeding the masses. But I do have to say that last night's batch was the best I've ever made. Good thing I made a ton - I have two more dinners' worth of sauce in the freezer for future enjoyment. Meanwhile, I'll share my recipe here with you guys, in case anyone's interested. :)

Mer's Homemade Pasta Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
Three 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
2 teaspoons
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds ground turkey, sausage, or ground beef
(Or you can add spicy Italian sausage, then you won't have to use the spices below*; that includes pork, chicken, or turkey sausage)
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled into small pieces*
1 tablespoon dried thyme*
1 tablespoon dried oregano*
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, cracked*
1 cup grated Parmesan

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and cook for 15 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes one at a time, crushing them by hand as you go. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the sauce over low heat, covered.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat, rosemary, thyme, oregano. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until it loses its raw color. Add the meat to the sauce, holding back any excess fat.

Simmer the sauce, covered, over low heat, for 1-1 1/2 hours. (If the sauce gets too thick, adjust the consistency with some red wine or water.) Just before serving, add the grated cheese.

Yields about 15 cups, so there’s plenty to freeze for later. Or you can halve the recipe, if you like, which feeds 4-6.

Mangia, mangia! Love, Mer xx

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