This week has been pasta-intensive. It has been amazing, but I feel like I didn’t get anything done except nap.
1. Mom’s Cavatini
This might be my favorite thing that my mom makes. When I make it, I adjust her recipe by having more pasta and less meat. I even wrote it at the top of the page where I copied it down, like I would forget:
In recent years, however, I’ve been keeping the pasta about the same and replacing half (or all) of the meat with spinach.
The recipe, as my mother has it written:
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 3/4 c. each of curly, shell, and macaroni noodles
- 3 tall skinny cans of tomato sauce
- 1/4 tsp. each – oregano, celery salt, garlic salt, and pepper
- 1/8 tsp. thyme
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 pkgs. mozzarella [that’s 32 oz. of cheese, for those who are wondering]
- 2 pkgs. pepperoni
Brown meat, onion, and seasonings. Add tomato sauce and pepperoni. Simmer 5 minutes. Add cooked noodles and simmer 5 more minutes. Take off stove; add mozzarella; serve.
Upon re-reading the recipe, I noticed other changes I make:
- I only use one type of pasta, unless what I have on hand happens to be remnants of several different shapes. But three pastas are not something that I do on purpose, even though I must admit it makes the dish prettier.
- I use my own homemade spaghetti sauce, which includes onions, pepper, and a whole lot of seasonings, so I exclude the onion and spices from the recipe.
I made cavatini twice (three times if you count the next recipe in the list). My friend Stephanie came over on Tuesday. I left out the pepperoni and kept the sauce separate from the pasta, and I left the cheese on the side as well. So I guess that was build-your-own-cavatini night. I turned right around and made another batch for the part-time staff Wednesday night at our meeting. This time, I threw it all together as the recipe instructs, because one pot is easier to carry than three.
I also made two loaves of beer bread for staff. One of them remarked, “I guess this is the closest you’re going to come to buying us alcohol.” Yep. I had just enough bread left over to have the best toast on the planet for breakfast the rest of the workweek.
2. Vegan Cavatini (aka, Pasta Primavera)
Leave in the spinach, add another vegetable or two (I vote yellow squash and orange bell pepper), and leave out all the meat and cheese. You will have a meal that is healthier but still delicious. Make sure your pasta doesn’t have egg in it, or that won’t be vegan.
3. Farmer’s Market – Roasted Broccoli
Broccoli is not my favorite vegetable. I have always thought it was okay. Then in 2002 when I started having digestive issues and couldn’t keep much of anything down for months, the smell of broccoli sickened me. It’s been on my list ever since.
But I found some this week at the market, and since it’s starting to get too hot for it to grow, I thought I’d give it a chance this week.
Chop up the broccoli and a red onion, and roast them in grapeseed oil. It’s so good, it might redeem broccoli for me.
So that’s the week in food!