I’m speechlessly happy. I cannot wait for January to get here. And that’s all I’m going to say about the election. That and our election dinner.
I scratched the wine, cheese and jalapeno dinner that we planned. I had a lot of down time yesterday at work. I only worked half a day. Our upper management let us choose to either come in later or leave earlier to vote. Being the early bird I am, I chose to leave earlier.
Since most people here aren’t like me, the office was dead quiet all morning giving me ample time to catch up on some much needed blog reading. Which really meant reading all the food blogs I love.
I found For the Love of Cooking. I am so glad I did. I found her through TasteSpotting (have you been, yet? Go check it out. LOVES it) while searching for a lasagna recipe.
I fell for her Baked Penne with Meatballs. Fell hard. With that our dinner menu changed. I am so happy it did. I cook a lot and most things that I cook I think I do a good job at but this recipe, holy cow, I fell in love with each bite. So did Cowboy. Is it possible to fall in love with a bowl of comfort food? I think so.
Baked Penne with Meatballs. From For the Love of Cooking.
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
6 oz of button or cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp white sugar
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute until tender; add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds, stirring frequently. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 2 hours.
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
7 button mushrooms, diced finely
1/4 sweet yellow onion, diced finely
1/4 Italian style breadcrumbs
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp fennel seed, crushed
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp olive oil (for cooking)
Combine all ingredients (except for olive oil) together gently. Form into small meatballs and set aside. Once the meatballs are prepared. Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Cook the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Remove from skillet and place in the mushroom sauce.
Penne pasta, prepared per instructions
1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tbsp fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta per instructions and drain. Pour the pasta into the sauce with the meatballs. Add the cheese - reserving a bit for the top and basil, then mix VERY gently. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes.