Hello everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I have been neglecting this blog a bit lately, but I just paid my annual maintenance fees for it and that motivated me to keep this blog alive! I have been posting my cooking process on my Instagram stories about once a week, but I just never translate those stories into a blog post. I’m positive I’ve showed on my stories how to make this easy bolognese recipe before. This is a family favourite of ours, and I make it probably once every two weeks. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s filling, and it calls for 1 cup of red wine which gives me an excuse to drink the rest of the bottle!
This is also my go-to main dish when my husband and I are having another couple over for dinner. Served with a salad and garlic toast, it’s more than enough to feed four ravenous adults.
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Weeknight Bolognese recipe. I made a couple tweaks to the recipe. I don’t add fresh basil all of the time. I had a basil plant in my backyard and I would add basil to the recipe when my plant was alive and thriving. However, I managed to kill it off so now I add some dried basil to it instead. My main tweak to the recipe was to reduce the amount of wine added. I found that the extra 1/4 cup of wine that she calls for in her recipe is just a bit much and I could still taste the wine after it was done cooking. Considering I also feed this to my toddler, I didn’t think that was such a good thing. Also, 1/4 cup less wine in the recipe is 1/4 cup more wine for me to drink instead! Speaking of wine, I sometimes get asked what wine I use for my cooking. I cook with the same wine I would drink. And lately, it’s been this Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon. This retails for about $24 dollars in Regina, but whenever I go to Calgary I buy a case or two from the Costco liquor store. I was just in Calgary for the July long weekend, so my wine cabinet is stocked up with Liberty School. That should last me for another couple months until my next trip to Calgary at the end of August.
You can use any type of pasta you want, but I tend to use the bowtie pasta that you see in the pictures or this mafalda corta:
It’s the perfect shape to catch all the beefy goodness of the bolognese and it’s a fun shape for my toddler to grab onto.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. I’ll be making this again tonight!
Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but you’ll have to forgive me. Life with a newborn baby has definitely been a game changer. It’s been over two weeks since we welcomed baby E into our family, and I’m slowly getting back into the kitchen. I didn’t really have to cook much the first two weeks, as my parents brought food almost every day and I had some freezer meals ready in our freezer. Earlier this week, my mother-in-law came to visit and brought us some beautiful locally raised meats from the Ranch House Meat Company in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.
Locally raised meats from Ranch House Meat Company in Shaunavon
The quality lean ground beef is exactly what I needed to make my shepherd’s pie recipe. I’ve made this recipe so many times I could probably do it in my sleep. With a newborn in the house, it is pretty rare that the husband and I can sit down together for a plated dinner anymore. This recipe is perfect as it can be easily dished up and eaten, no fancy plating or preparation needed. This also tastes amazing as leftovers the next day.
My husband and I like our food spicy, so I put 6 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce into the meat mixture. If you don’t like spicy foods, I’d recommend just putting 2 tablespoons or so, just for a little kick.
This is probably the quickest and easiest comfort food recipe that I have in my repertoire. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! This new mama is off to have a nap now while my baby naps!
P.S. Have you guys stopped by Mortise and Tenon Shop for any kitchen gear or early Christmas shopping yet? Remember to mention that you were referred by Culinary Cents to receive a 10% discount off your purchase! Check out my post here for some great holiday gift ideas from this local Regina shop!
2-6 tbsp of Frank's Red Hot Sauce (depending on how spicy you want it!)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
FOR THE MASHED POTATO TOPPING:
6 large potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put potatoes in large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil on the stove.
While potatoes are boiling, make the beef mixture. Cook the beef, onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat until meat is no longer pink.
Stir in paprika and thyme and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the frozen vegetables and mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, hot sauce, cornstarch and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the meat mixture. Season the meat mixture with salt an pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer so that the mixture thickens slightly.
While the meat mixture is simmering, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare the mashed potatoes. Take the potatoes off the stove, drain well. Return potatoes to the pot, add butter and cream and mash well.
Assemble the shepherd's pie by spreading the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish or casserole dish. Top with the potato mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with fresh parsley before serving.
Did you know that I was well into my 30’s before I had meatloaf? I remember as a kid reading Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Sweet Valley Kids/High, Babysitters Club and those books often referenced meatloaf as being something that was eaten at family dinners. As a kid I had no idea what meatloaf was, and it definitely wasn’t on my mom’s recipe repertoire. I was always curious as a kid as to what it would taste like, but most of the books I read described it as being something that kids usually didn’t enjoy.
So after three decades of wondering what meatloaf was and how it would taste, I decided I would try to make it. You guys, it took FOREVER to create the perfect recipe. I scoured the internet and Pinterest, I experimented and failed, and my poor husband had to try so many terrible variations. I made bland meatloaf, I made raw meatloaf, I made dry meatloaf….but after much experimenting, I have perfected a grown-up, kicked-up meatloaf recipe. My husband LOVES this and requests it often, and I quite enjoy it too. I serve it with a salad for dinner, and leftovers taste pretty good for lunch as well. I probably make this recipe once every couple weeks or whenever ground beef is on sale at the grocery store.
The additions to this recipe that make it a little more interesting and appetizing are the minced garlic in the ground beef mixture and the Frank’s hot sauce in the topping. In our household, we put Frank’s hot sauce or Sriracha hot sauce on almost everything!
Does anyone have their mom’s/grandmother’s meatloaf recipe that they love? Or is meatloaf something I enjoy only because it’s new to me?