Monday, January 4, 2016

Sunday morning, coming down...

Sidebar: Okay, the title of this post has nothing to do with anything. I’m not “coming down” from anything except trashed legs. I just always loved that song.

I was planning on making a ham and cheese omelet. But I wasn’t that hungry. So I settled on a cup of coffee and started making a sh*t-load of spaghetti sauce.


Sidebar: I should have thought that one through. In the past, when my Mother was alive, I had like 10 or 12 four-cup soup containers that I would use to bring her stuff. Since she passed, I have used them to pass along leftovers to my Puerto Rican family. However, they seem to disappear into some Puerto Rican black hole and only reappear in sporadic events. So, after I got started, I checked and found I only had one left in the cupboard! Sigh…

But, before I checked on that, I browned four pounds of ground chuck in my medium  heavy aluminum stock pot. I seasoned that with just Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Sidebar: I am loosely adapting a Ree Drummond recipe.

Once it was browned, I dumped it into the metal colander to drain.

I didn’t clean out the stock pot, I just added a few swirls of extra virgin olive oil. To that, I added two large yellow onions (medium diced) and two green peppers (also medium diced). I seasoned that with salt and pepper as well. I sautéed that for a couple of minutes and added six cloves of minced garlic. I sautéed that for another minute.

I added a cup of white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc, my favorite white wine). I let that boil and reduce for a couple of minutes. Then I added two 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes, four ounces of tomato paste and a small (14-ounce) can of diced tomatoes. Not in her recipe, but I like a little texture in my sauce.

Then I added a teaspoon of ground oregano, a teaspoon of dried thyme, four whole bay leaves, two tablespoon of sugar, two more teaspoons of Kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I stirred that in and then added the ground beef back into the stock pot. Now, the sauce was way too thick, so I added in some beef stock leftover from yesterday’s French dip sandwiches.

I set the timer for an hour, put the lid on it and walked away. I watched the Sunday morning news and stirred it occasionally.

When the timer went off, I added in a rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano (I save them) and 1/4 cup of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley. I stirred it in and set the timer for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I put some water on to boil and then dumped in some penne rigate. I thought with its little ribs, it would be the perfect “sauce grabber!”

Unfortunately, I went back in the bedroom and started watching “Meet the Press.” I got all involved in the presidential politics and missed the stove timer. When it finally dawned on me that the pasta should be done, all I had was a hot, bloated mess…


All I had left in the cupboard was elbow macaroni, sea shells (large and small), some tri-color rotini (for pasta salad) and linguine. So, I ground up the penne rigate in the garbage disposal and cooked a pound of linguine.

When it was done, I added four cups of pasta sauce to it and let it get happy.

Then I started to construct my olive cheese bread. I couldn’t find a loaf of French bread at Meijer’s, so I settled for a smaller, Italian bread.

I rough-chopped 6-ounces of green pimiento-stuff olives and 6-ounces of pitted black olives.  I added that to a bowl and put in two green onions, finely sliced. I added one stick of butter, room temperature and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. I stirred in 12 ounces of Colby-jack cheese. Note: It was supposed to be just Monterey Jack cheese, but I couldn’t find any.

I cut the loaf in half and spread the mixture all over the top. I had a lot left over, but blamed that on not securing a loaf of French bread.

I popped that into a 325-degree F. oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. I checked on it and let it go for another two minutes.

Then I took it out and plated my Sunday dinner. 

It was outstanding, if I do say so myself.

I ran a load in the dishwasher and soaked the rest of the stuff that wouldn’t fit in.

I watched an old favorite John Wayne movie, “The Quiet Man.” Then I went to bed at 10:00 p.m.


  1. Dinner looks great! Glad you made it home safely and in first class no less. We really know how to treat a fellow in SC! Happy New Year!

  2. Dinner was pretty damn good. Yes, ya'll know how to make somebody feel special. Thanks and same to you!