Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Spaghetti in Suburbia

Pasta is a mainstay in our house.  The Boy loves it (any of it) and it's one thing that I find I have a hard time ruining while I cook. 

Also, if it doesn't taste good - I can always add more wine, garlic and salt (in that order).


However my instinct with pasta is to just keep adding things (wine, garlic, salt) until I end up with a rich, heavy, delicious wintery dish.  It takes a bit more self control (and a bit less wine-garlic-salt) for me to plate up something that is seasonally appropriate for summer weather.

With The Boy away with friends for the weekend in LA, I was left to my own devices for far too long and decided to welcome him home in truly suburban fashion - namely a home cooked pasta meal complete with a wife in a pink summer dress. 

Welcome home dear.
At first I felt slightly absurd for not just microwaving a hot-pocket in my sweats, but as it turns out it was really fun to cook up something delicious and actually take the time to put a stitch of makeup on before The Boy's return.... Not that this will be happening on a daily basis anytime soon.

But onto the important issue - PASTA.

I usually only cook pasta when my fridge is running low of inventory and the pantry is getting bare.  consequently, the "recipe" is based off of whatever produce hasn't rotted and whatever basics I still have.

For this instance we started with 20 oz of lean ground turkey (always stashed in the freezer!) browned with 1/2 an onion (all that I had left) and some red pepper flakes.

Then we added a jar of Prego (mmmm, cheating), two shakes of Worcestershire sauce, a healthy pour of a lighter red wine and turned the whole thing to simmer. 

Then, sensing my immediate desire to douse the whole thing  in some heavy cream and to swap the dress our for sweats and a Grey's Anatomy marathon... I dove into the remnants of my produce drawer and emerged with Carrots (lots) and a big red pepper (only squishy on one small spot).  Everything was rough chopped and tossed in.  The heat was turned up and I splashed a bit more wine in as I topped off my own glass (one for me... one for sauce..).

Adding a fresh pepper really brightens up a marinara sauce and gives it that "veggie" flavor that I usually manage to snuff out in garlic and cream.  I successfully resisted the urge to add cream, but I did sprinkle in a heavy dose of William Sonoma's "toasted onion powder" that gave the whole thing a bit of a fresh-cookout-flavor.  Some fresh Thyme and Basil was chopped and tossed in, then the whole pot was covered and set to simmer while I dashed off to the airport to get The Boy.

Upon our return I did one more round of red wine (some for me, some for the sauce), before boiling up some fettuccine and spooning the chunky, glumpy sauce over the top.  Simple, easy, and surprisingly appropriate for a summer evening out of the deck. 
Plenty 'o veggies
Plus I got credit for a fully home cooked meal when really I just kept tossing things in the pot with my Prego. 


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