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Monday, April 1, 2013

Speedy Beefy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Speedy Beefy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce on MacaroniI love the texture of browned ground beef, but I don't always like to brown it. I hate frying things sometimes because of the oil splatters and I don't like cleaning all the oil out of the sieve to drain out all the fat from ground meat! Lazy? Yeah I guess so. Or you could think of it as "wanting to spend more time with K and less time in the kitchen"? Yes, let's go with that one. :)

Browning the meat will toughen it, so that's why you have to simmer for hours to make it tender again. Because I didn't brown it, I don't have to simmer it forever! I just need to do it long enough to get the meat cooked. Speedy trick, eh? The only thing is that the texture is not as nice as when you brown ground meat. However, if you're just going to mix it with pasta and bake it with other things (eg., Cream Cheesy Pasta Bake, lasagna) or serve it to a toddler, then it's not really noticeable. At least neither K nor I really notice it. ;)


Speedy Beefy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
(makes ~6 cups)

Ingredients:
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dry Italian herbs (or mix of oregano, basil, sage, rosemary & thyme)
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 796ml (28oz) can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsps bacon grease or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Sweat onions, bell peppers and mushrooms in bacon fat (or evoo) in a large sauce pan for about 10 minutes. Stir in red chili flakes, Italian herbs, garlic, a pinch each of salt and pepper until fragrant.
  2. Add canned tomatoes and squish with spatula against the side of the pan. Puree veggies with a hand/stick blender.
  3. Stir in ground beef and break up chunks with spatula. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.