Dinner tonight was pasta and meat sauce, a favorite of mine while a Hogwarts student. Delicious on a chilly winter night. The sauce recipe is a handme down from my husband's Aunt, a first generation Italian-American. It was even better the second night (like tonight's leftovers!), sopped up with crusty bread. Here's the recipe if you are interested:
2lb ground chuck
1 cup red wine, divided
3-4 stalks celery, chopped thinnish on the diagonal
1 small/medium onion (omitted for father in law) medium chop
1-2 cloves garlic (also omitted for FIL) smashed or diced
1 small can tomato paste
1 jar (16 oz?) store bought tomato sauce (preferably organic)
1 med/lg can crushed tomatoes
Fresh basil, thyme if available
Use a medium to large saucepan (3-6 qts). Sautee the onions, celery and garlic in a bit of olive oil until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Sautee the beef in the same pan, in 1/2 cup of red wine, breaking up the beef into smaller bits. Drain the beef when cooked, place the sauteed veggies, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce in the pot. Stir together and let simmer on low for (at least) 20 mins (no lid). Add remaining wine and herbs, simmer another 20 mins or longer, if desired. You can fudge the amounts of solids to tomato products, depending if you like your sauce chunkier rather than saucier (I'm a saucy girl, and like the sauce chunky).
Serve hot, with grated parmesan to pass, along with 1-2 lbs cooked pasta. Recipe may be halved, or you can freeze half if there is too much for one meal :)
Post prandial parental rant: My two children, one a second year at Hogwarts (Ravenclaw, of course!) and my other child is at a Muggle school in second grade. Despite their gap in ages, it seems they find much to quibble about (almost a 1/2 hour straight of bickering over the top of some Nickolodeon program). So off went the television and everyone is upstairs in their respective rooms. Blissful quiet for blogging.