It came together as I went along. The picture above show around 1 1/2 lbs of beef (I hit the jackpot since I got some grass fed beef) and onions (I used about 1/2 a white onion but you add to your liking). I kept the initial spices simple- salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder (since I ran out of fresh garlic) and oregano. I also added on can of Rotel Hot Diced Tomatoes (shown below) during the sauteing process. I sauteed them in a part until brown (medium heat for about 8-10 minutes). Once the meat was browned, the fat was drained (ok, I drained most of it, around 90% of the fat).
Below, you see the can of Rotel and Local Folks Foods tomato and herb marinara.
|I used Rotel Hot Tomatoes since I prefer spicy foods.|
Now, here's where the improv came in. I thought I had some nice cheeses on hand (parm-reggiano, mozzarella, provolone, etc). I didn't so I used old reliable Velveeta and folded it in with the sauce. Then added the sauce, Local Folks Foods. I kept the sauce on medium heat for about 5 minutes (long enough for the sauce and meat to properly marry). There's nothing worse than meat with under cooked sauce. I eventually lowed the fire to low and just let it simmer, folding the sauce while if simmered.
Now, on the subject of over cooking, feel free to observe I used dried pasta but this is almost as good as fresh. I bought this pasta at a local Farmer Market and I decided to use this linguini, which was made by hand. I was warned when I bought this particular brand that I'll need to watch it when the pasta is boiled. Most pastas will boil for 7-10 minutes. With this brand, you have a glob of mess. It's much thinner than other brands. I sure didn't make that mistake. I decided to do this while the sauce was simmering. My Mom found these Chipotle Pepper Flakes so I added that and the other spices I mentioned during the simmering time. It took just under 4 minutes to boil this pasta (as my water wasn't at a rapid boil initially). While I boiled the pasta, I stirred the pasta (also another suggestion by the vendor). I added salt and olive oil for flavor while cooking. For what it's worth, Sonoma Farms is a Chicago area businesses. Local Folks Foods is based in Indiana.
This recipe made 5 days of lunch. While it wasn't my direct intention, I would up really going the local route with the products I used here. You can talk about buying local as much as you want. It still comes down to supply and demand as well as the free market system. Make something someone wants and the people will speak with their wallets. Food for thought.