What’s cookin’, Faens? We need to talk about spaghetti and meatballs – or, as we call it in my house, S&M.
“Honey? Do you want S&M tonight?”
“You know. Pasta so good it hurts. It’s 50 shades of delicious.”
“I’m questioning my life choices.”
For a while I thought I had a pretty good recipe for S&M, but then I tried this recipe courtesy of Rebecca, more commonly known as the “S&M Queen of the West Coast of Canada” (or at least she is now), and all bets were off. This is now my go-to recipe. I made a couple of modifications but it’s pretty much the same.
Spicy-Succubus Sexy-Vexy Marky-Mark Sausage-Fest Sauce
Anything that Bo has her hands in (ahem) tends to be pretty spicy, so this sauce is named in honor of her succubus nature. But it’s Vex and Mark who provide the secret ingredient. Read on to learn how to make the last sauce you’ll ever want to make.
- 1 pound ground beef or bison
- 8-10 white button mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 red bell pepper
- 5 cloves garlic (more, if you really like garlic or live near a Hellmouth)
- 70-80 oz tomato sauce – you can use canned tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce, or make your own from fresh tomatoes)
- 3 or 4 links hot Italian sausage
- oregano, basil, parsley to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Small dice the mushrooms, onion, and red pepper. Small dice or grate/shred the carrot, and mince the garlic or run it through a garlic press.
Brown the beef in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Add some olive oil to the pan, because more lube is better. Saute the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until mushrooms start to release their water and it cooks off a bit. Add the diced onions, carrot and bell pepper and saute 5-10 more minutes, then add the garlic for 3 more minutes.
Transfer the beef and vegetables to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and parsley, if you like. Or use fresh.
While you have the sauce simmering, cut the casings off the sausage and cut the sausage into roughly 1-inch chunks. Form into balls and brown in a skillet, making sure they’re thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels before adding to sauce. Simmer sauce covered for 2-3 hours on low, more if you like, with the pot lid slightly cracked, stirring every so often. The flavor of the meatballs will permeate throughout the sauce.
While the sauce is simmering, you should have plenty of time to go to the cask room in the Dal Riata to look for candles.
Zee’s Zucchini Linguini
Here’s what I bring to the table. (Ha! Cooking/eating pun! Zing!)
Pasta is great, so this isn’t a call to stop eating pasta. But if you’re allergic to gluten or if you just want to get more vegetables into your diet, it’s easy and fast to use zucchini to make a fantastic approximation of pasta noodles. I was skeptical at first but this is really good.
Take one or two zucchini, depending on how many people you’re serving (1 zucchini will feed 2 people). Wash and cut off both ends. Use a mandoline on the small julienne setting, or a julienne peeler, or a spiral slicer to slice the zucchini – the result will be very similar in size to linguini.
Hubris warning: use the guard if you’re using a mandoline. Here’s what I thought to myself: “If I’m careful, I won’t cut my finger.” WRONG. I sliced off a goodly portion of my finger and it hurt like a mo-fo. Once it healed, I forgot the pain and did it AGAIN a few weeks later. I think this is how people end up going through childbirth more than once. The cuts you will sustain from using a non-guarded mandoline are deep and painful. Learn from my youthful folly.
Pile the zucchini noodles onto paper towels to drain while you boil some regular pasta linguini. After the pasta is cooked and you’ve poured it into a colander, steam the zucchini noodles using a steamer or strainer for 2-3 minutes and then drain on paper towels. Mix it with the pasta. And then eat it. Eat it alllllllllllllllll.
This sauce freezes well and the recipe above will serve about 8, so if you’re not cooking for a huge group, freeze the leftovers and you’ll never go hungry again.