Saturday, April 01, 2006

Last Night's Dinner and a Muffin Man Update

Yesterday, after my Statistics study group was over, I drove to our nearby Wegman's. Inside, I bought:
  • Fruit (strawberries and bananas, both of which Muffin Man will eat greedily)
  • Spinach (intended for last night's dinner, but in the end not used)
  • A package of sliced miniture portabello mushrooms
  • A package of coiled sweet italian sausage (I wanted to buy bulk, but they didn't have any) and
  • A small container of ricotta cheese (Mr. Spock is not a fan)

When I got home, I rummaged through the 'fridge and took out 2 tennis-ball-sized onions. I opened up our little clay jar and got out two cloves of garlic. I went down into our cellar and found a small can of tomato paste and a large can of crushed tomatoes. From the freezer, I took a small ziplock bag of shredded mozzarella (this is a good tip, btw. If you do your shopping at a place like Costco, you can buy their monster-sized bag of shredded mozzarella and divvy it up and freeze the cheese)

I diced the garlic and the onions and cut the mushrooms smaller.

In our Calphelon chef's pan (a wedding gift and, after our cast iron skillets, the most-used pot in the house), I sauted the onions in olive oil until they were translucent and starting to turn gold, then I added the garlic and when they were also translucent and starting to turn gold, I added the mushrooms and sauted them until they started giving up their liquid.

Then I took the coil of sausage and squeezed the sausage out of its skin into the pan. As it browned, I salted it and dumped in some dried oregano and basil. I stirred it and broke it up, I'm not going for meatballs here.

When the sausage was completely browned, I added the cans of tomato glop and kept stirring. I tasted--a bit acidic, so I added some sugar. Tasted again...added some chili powder (just a touch, for a little zing). Tasted again...pretty good. I made sure the coast was clear and added a secret ingredient. Tasted again. Delicious.

Mr. Spock tasted. Agreed it was delicious.

I started some water boiling. And preheated the oven to 350.

At this point, I went on a search for ziti. I absolutely knew we had some in the house. Nope. So I used small shells. Cooked 'em, drained 'em, added them to a cassarole dish my mother gave me recently.

Poured on the sauce, mixed thoroughly, topped with cheese. Put the whole mess in the oven for a half-hour. Where upon we went to pick up Muffin Man.

Got home.

Served the baked shells.

Ate out on the new screened-in porch.



Mr. Spock just finished reading all of Winnie-the-Pooh to Muffin Man. Now they're starting on The Little Prince. Can Farmer Boy be far behind?


Jenn said...

Hmm, I love the idea of shredding the cheese first. I have little blocks of it frozen, but this will be even BETTER!


purple_kangaroo said...

Yum, yum.

We're reading Alice in Wonderland (unabridged) right now--the kids are loving it.

Yankee T said...

Good Daddy. And the Little Prince is The Attorney's

halloweenlover said...

I made almost the SAME MEAL on Saturday! But with ziti, and vegetarian sausage. Practically the same! What are the odds?