There is a wonderful, witchy lady in the blog-o-sphere who is beloved by all her followers. Joyce of the blog,
OctoberFarm blog is a fabulous cook and baker, crafter, decorator, artist, gardener, collector, and so much more. Her Chow, Teddy is a superstar in her own right. If you have never visited this blog, do yourself a favor and have a look. Her sidebar is loaded with links to many many recipes, with photos and preparation hints.
That being said, Joyce injured her hand rather seriously and has been unable to blog much lately as she recovers. Many of us are going into withdrawal, not getting our daily dose of Joyce's posts. In her honor, last night as I was preparing dinner, I thought, "do an OctoberFarm post".
So here is my version of Mezzo Penne with Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce. Put your aprons on now!
Okay, so Joyce prepares everything from scratch, often times using her own home-grown herbs and veggies. She bakes her breads and rolls from scratch. Using an endless variety of interesting seasonings, flavorings, spices, and all kinds of ingredients you have never heard of, Joyce turns out the most delicious looking entrees, sides and desserts. She also cooks and bakes in mass quantities, but usually will give the recipe for those of us who cook for less than 100!
So in your pan, brown up some ground beef, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Add your beautifully roasted tomatoes, with garlic, lightly crushed. (um.....I used Contadina's). Stir this around, sprinkling with garlic powder, some basil, some oregano, whatever flavorings you enjoy with your Italian sauces. Now add some lovely pureed tomatoes that will blend in beautifully. (again.....er....Contadina).
Chop up some mushrooms and onions, and add them to your bubbling meat sauce. Things should be smelling really good now.....yum! Simmer Simmer Simmer.
While your meat sauce is simmering, bubbling and aromatically inducing joyful hunger pangs, thaw out some of those wonderful, from scratch, home made rolls (um......er.....I got mine at Wegmans supermarket)
I enjoy using Barilla pastas, and this one is the Mezza Penne, or little penne, just perfect for a meal on Thursday night.
(Don't tell Joyce, but hiding behind the pasta box, is Kraft Parmesan cheese, the kind you shake out. I did add some of that to my sauce, instead of grating a big block of real parmesan. Though the people at Kraft will tell you theirs is real cheese too. I didn't want her to know that I use that stuff....shhhhh!)
Anyhooo, so now you have sliced and buttered these rolls, added garlic to one half, because the other half must remain plain for those of us (ahem) who do not care for garlic bread all that much. Place them in the oven to get nice and crispy and lovely.
Boil the penne for approximately 9 minutes (sorry, forgot to take a photo, but it looked like boiling water, with pasta in it, and steam all flying up all over)
Voila!! Here is the presentation. The meat sauce was mixed into the drained penne, stirred all around. Grate some cheddar and parmesan (this is real parmesan here, by the way). Add a couple of hot buttered rolls, and bob's your uncle! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Joyce prepares, explains and photographs a million times better than my little homage to her. Please do visit her and leave her some well wishes for a very speedy recovery!