Monday Night Morrocan Meat Sauce

When things seems to be crowding in on you a bit too much - lingerie orders pressing, furniture stacking up and covered with tarps, ex-husbands hassling with lawsuits, bills to pay - what better meal to prepare for dinner than a comforting spaghetti and meat sauce? The weather still hasn't heated up so there is still time to squeeze in some cold weather classics! Unfortunately, pasta is currently off my diet, since I have been attempting to be gluten free - and successfully, I guess, since I have managed it for around 8 weeks. Amazing!  However, I can still serve spaghetti to the Man, and serve meat sauce to myself on a lettuce leaf. Joking! Spaghetti squash is nice, too. And I have even been known to eat Shiritaki noodles.  Or just serve it in a bowl, chili style, with a blob of low fat sour cream and some chopped avocados. Mmmmm...!

Meat sauce can be a bit mundane, so I like to experiment with different variations - and tonight I visit the far off land of Morocco, adopted home to Yves St Laurent and Proust.  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves,minced
  • 1 28 ounce can of organic plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 tsp Oregano 
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
  •  Salt & fresh ground black Pepper 
  • Chopped pitted Spicy Olives
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1 tblsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly grated parmesan

Brown the ground beef in a frying pan first and then drain off the fat in a colander (it is very indigestible, put in a saucepan on the side. 
Next, wipe out the pan and add 1 white onion, chopped and sauteed until soft in olive oil, 4 mushrooms, sliced, added to the onion. If you like, add 1 carrot, sliced in very thin rounds and then cut into quarters 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or minced.
Mix the above in with the cooked meat in the saucepan and combine with tomatoes, add the oregano, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper, chopped olives, raisins, Balsamic vinegar...bring to a boil and then and simmer, covered,  for at least 1 hour until fragrant.

About 15 minutes before the meat sauce is ready, remove the lid and reduce the sauce down a little.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the pasta. Use some of the pasta water to adjust the thickness of your meat sauce, if it is too sticky. 

Serve over a steaming bowl of spaghetti & top with fresh parmesan- delicious!

Six words I will never say to a man again: "Can you paint my apartment?" 

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