Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pasta-mania



This has been a very unusual Saturday. I can't remember the last time I had one like it. We have nothing - absolutely nothing to do today. No errands to run, no cooking to get done, no work to do, no anywhere to be or anyone to meet up with, even all the laundry has been folded and put away!

Which means although we're showered and dressed, Thatboy and I have spent the entire morning on the couch, catching up on all the series premieres we missed this week. Currently we're exploring surgery and trauma via Grey's Anatomy. (Although, I just looked over and realized my husband isn't quite fully dressed given that he decided to put on pajamas after showering.) (And on a related unrelated note - anyone else think that to start a season off built around the benefits of lying might be the wrong message to send?)

I honestly don't remember the last lazy day we had. I mean sure, it's hard for me to sit around doing nothing, and in a few minutes I'll be up and cleaning the place a bit before our Rosh Hashanna guests arrive since it's always easier to clean on the weekends than during the week. But for the most part, I'm really enjoying the idea of not having to leave the house at all!

A lazy day calls for a lazy meal. And I honestly can't think of anything lazier than pasta. I know - there was a pasta recipe yesterday. All I can do is promise there will not be another pasta dish tomorrow. I make no promises about today. Especially when this is a dish that cannot be described with a better adjective than lazy. What else to do you call a pasta that cooks in its own sauce, so you don't even need to dirty a pot?

In Italy, a Ragu is meat sauce served atop pasta. In France, a Ragout is a thick meat stew. The common denominator in both is the meat. A thick meat sauce, no matter where you're from. The idea is universal and can be translated many different ways. This is my take on a Greek ragu - a spiced meat sauce served atop pasta, but using typical Greek flavors. (Or at least American Greek since I can't claim any authenticity into anything Greek.)



Greek Ragu
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef
2 sprigs oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
2 tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup penne pasta (uncooked)
1 cup spinach, blanched, drained, and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese

  1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions and cook until they are translucent.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until beef is browned.
  3. Stir in the oregano, cinnamon and garlic.
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in the pasta, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in spinach and half of the feta. Cover and cook 5 minutes more.
  7. Remove from heat, sprinkle with remaining feta, cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

5 comments:

  1. I spent today catching up on Gray's also! Though...I kinda wish I had this pasta to eat with it.

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  2. Just mouthwatering...looks so easy to prepare and delicious.

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  3. I'm a proponent of laziness. One person's laziness is another's productivity -- I think the meal looks good and sufficiently effortful.

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  4. Um, this looks so good to me right now, I feel like it can smell it. Especially the oregano! I have Grey's on dvr and have yet to watch any of the new season.

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  5. I think I'm obsessed with the Greek tradition of cinnamon in tomato sauce. Love this!

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