Pork

Two-Meats Tomato Sauce


Two-Meats Sauce Recipe

I love eating fresh pasta. Sometimes, as a special treat I pick some up from Pasta Genova's, the local Italian grocery. I usually choose a flavoured linguine, like spinach, and whip up an alfredo sauce to go with.

For my birthday I got a pasta attachment for my kitchen aid mixer. It was sent in the mail from my mum, and it arrived February 14th. I opened it as soon as it arrived, but pretended that I waited until my birthday, and then confessed to my mother within 10 seconds of speaking to her on the phone! I'm not usually a "peaker", I love surprises! What happened was that I sort of opened it by mistake, not knowing what it was.

I've made pasta from scratch a few years ago with my mum. She has one of those hand-crank pasta rollers, the kind that attach to the table. We made beet tortellini. The process was tricky, and the dough was more dumpling-like than pasta-like. I was a bit nervous to make pasta on my own, but on Sunday afternoon with a half glass of wine, I was up for the challenge!

Two-Meats Sauce Recipe
Two-Meats Sauce Recipe
Two-Meats Sauce Recipe
Two-Meats Sauce Recipe

When I was growing up, my mum would cook pasta occasionally. We would have spaghetti or penne for the noodle and a tomato sauce with ground beef. It was always the same and never spicy! Egg noodles were strictly reserved for when we ate beef stroganoff. My mum would make it in the slow cooker and serve it over egg noddles with sour cream on top. So yummy!

I decided to make papparedelle, a wide egg noodle. I watched a couple of Youtube videos with various recipes and used 3 ¼ cup flour and 4 (and a little bit) eggs. I created a pile with the flour and made a hole for the eggs. I carefully whisked the eggs and incorporated them into the flour. I kneaded the flour for a few minutes but it wasn't coming together very well. I cracked another egg and incorporated just a bit of it. My mum has told me the harder pastry is to roll, the better the pie crust tastes. I kept this in mind, hoping the same would apply with pasta dough.

I let the dough rest while I started the sauce. I came back to it and kneaded it for a few more minutes and it seemed okay (and yes, just "okay", I still had my doubts and was wondering if I needed to use the back-up pasta I bought from the grocery store!). I flattened the dough and cut the disc like a pizza into 8 triangles. I flattened the first piece out and fit it through the pasta attachment. After multiple iterations through the machine, I could see the dough was a success! When the dough was about 1 mm thick, I rolled it up and cut it into noodles! It was so fun! I let them dry and gathered the noodles into nests. I cooked the noodles for about 2-3 minutes. They were so yummy, and the experience was so fun! I can't wait to make pasta again!

Two-Meats Sauce Recipe
Two-Meats Sauce Recipe
Two-Meats Sauce Recipe

Two-Meats Tomato Sauce

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ lb lean ground beef

¼ lb ground pork

pinch nutmeg

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp dried basil

salt and pepper

4 cups Italian plum tomatoes

1 cup water

Melt butter and olive oil in skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until softened.

Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Stir in herbs and spices.

Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup of water; simmer gently, until thick, about 1 hour.

Makes 4 cups, enough for 1 lb pasta or gnocchi.

Notes: I didn't have dried basil, so I used about 4 big leaves of fresh basil. I also ran out of ground cinnamon (how did that happen!?) so I used a cinnamon stick. I simmered the sauce with the stick in for about 20 minutes.

Two-Meats Sauce Recipe

*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook

Hot & Spicy Bean Soup


Hot & Spicy Bean Soup

I started my blog almost one month ago, and have made 14 recipes from the cookbook so far. This week, I made three recipes from the book, had girlfriends over for dinner, resuscitated my sourdough starter, and started to make my first loaf of bread – on top of my regular commitments! Now, I am sick. So very sick.

I thought this would be the perfect time to collect my thoughts about this past month. When I think about why I started this blog, for me, it’s about the process. I don’t necessarily have a “goal”. If I had to pinpoint a goal, it would be very broad. Something like “to make meaningful memories by connecting with food and family, in a conscientious way, through writing and reflection”. That sounds nice!

I do want to improve my skills in the kitchen. I want to know what those weird ingredients are on a menu at a restaurant. I want to be adventurous, resourceful, and confident when cooking. But really, these results are secondary to the everyday enjoyment of cooking and photography. And, I also believe if you think less about specific desired outcomes, you will be more open to a surprise revelation, an a-ha moment, or a simple moment of clarity or content. Often the learning and meaning of moments happens long after the actual instance. So, I am open to seeing where this adventure takes me!

Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe

I made Hot & Spicy Bean Soup earlier this week. The recipe called for two meaty pork hocks. What is a "hock"? I called my mom. She suggested getting smoked hocks, if they were available. I went to the local butcher shop and picked up two smoked hocks - they added so much flavour! Ps. from what I can tell a pork hock (or ham hock) is the pig's "cankle", the park between calf and ankle. 

I also used dry beans (not from a can) for the first time, which I am sort-of ashamed to admit! Using dry beans does requires forethought because you have to soak them overnight, but I never realized how easy they are to cook with. I like the idea of using less canned items. On that note, it is easy to throw a can of chopped tomatoes into this recipe, but it is also so, so easy to peel and chop fresh tomatoes. Double thumbs up! My friends loved the recipe, and were impressed by the flavours. This soup will warm you up on a winter evening! Enjoy :)

Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe

Hot & Spicy Bean Soup

4 cups navy beans

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 large, meaty pork hocks

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups water

3 bay leaves

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp hot pepper flakes

4-6 generous dashes hot sauce

1 ½ tsp dry mustard

¾ tsp summer savory

¼ tsp pepper

4 cups chopped tomatoes

Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse.

Heat oil in large stockpot over high heat; brown pork hocks. Sauté onion and garlic until soft but not browned, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in beans, water, spices; simmer 2 hours. Add tomatoes and simmer another hour. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note: I made this the day before I served it. I added about twice as much water – I like a brothy soup but overnight the soup thickened quite a bit anyways. Depending on how meaty your pork hocks are, you may only need one. Before re-heating and serving, I took the meat off the pork hock and discarded the fat. I also used fresh tomatoes – I covered them in boiling water for 2 minutes, peeled and chopped them. This soup was absolutely delicious!

Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe
SoupBowl.jpg
Hot & Spicy Bean Soup Recipe

*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook