Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Linguine w/ Meat & Veggie Sauce

This evening I decided to make whole wheat linguine with a meat and veggie sauce.  Since I worked a little late, I used a jarred sauce to speed things up a bit.  I doctored up the sauce enough, though, that you could really call it "semi-homemade".   The funny thing is that I usually don't cook or eat much in the way of beef or any red meat.  It is a very occasional thing for us.  It isn't any kind of political statement, doctor imposed health mandate or anything of the sort.  It all basically comes down to personal preference...period.  I've been that way since the beginning of time!  ;-)

When I did my grocery shopping this weekend, I picked up a package of ground sirloin to make a meat sauce to put on pasta.  Now, as infrequently as I use beef...what are the odds that as I am making dinner tonight, the news is talking about "mad cow disease" in California...first case in four years or something random like that.  Seriously???  Well, back to dinner.  While my ground sirloin was browning, I diced 1/4 of a large Vidalia onion, 1/2 of a red bell pepper and 3 small zucchinis.  If you haven't already noticed while reading my blog, we eat a lot of fresh veggies in this house!

I have to say, I was so excited to see the Vidalia onions in the store this weekend...they are one of my favorite onions to use.  When the meat was almost done browning, I added the onion and bell pepper and covered it to let it cook together until the onions and peppers were almost tender.  I then added the diced zucchini, covered it and continued cooking until the zucchini was done.  I dumped a jar of Bertolli Fire Roasted Sauce in with the meat and veggies and then poured in a few splashes of Pinot Noir, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper for a little zing.  I covered it and simmered the sauce on low for about 30 minutes so everything would mingle.

While the sauce simmered, I cooked my linguine and then tossed it with some extra virgin olive oil that was a gift from one of the sweetest people I know..."Ms. B".  It came in a beautiful slim bottle that is unbelievably easy to handle with one hand.  The absolute coolest thing about it though is that it has a little spout that pops up when you unscrew the lid and then goes back down in the bottle when you close the cap.  I can actually DRIZZLE oil now without fear of dumping in too much!  I found myself literally talking to my new bottle of olive oil...asking it repeatedly "Where have you been all my life???".  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed using it compared to the industrial sized bulky bottle I usually purchase mine in (it is over 2 quarts and heavy).  My olive oil comes in those clunky bottles that take 2 hands to handle.  I've included a few pics of our meal below (as well as the bottle of olive oil for you to see what I am talking about).  Enjoy!

Zucchini, Vidalia onion, red bell pepper
Meat and veggies cooking together, waiting to be sauced!

Whole wheat linguine, Bertolli sauce & the world's most awesome olive oil
Check out the spout that pops up when you remove the lid and recedes when you close the lid
This olive oil deserved a portrait of its own -- thanks again "Ms. B"

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