Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bolognese Sauce & My Purse

I had to go the grocery store this morning to buy a few items for a Bolognese Sauce I want to make today. Just a few things, like tomatoes, a fresh hunk of parmesan cheese. All the other ingredients I already have, including some lovely Pappardelle Pasta. 

I have this trick I do with my purse when I go grocery shopping and I'll tell you about it, but first you have to know some things about my purse. Number one thing is it's big. It's a big leather brown shoulder purse that I paid way too much for about 5 years ago. I keep alot of things in my purse, so it's not only big, it's heavy. Ask anyone who has ever had to hold my purse (as in here, could you hold this a minute?) or hand me my purse (as in, could you hand me my purse?). My purse is so heavy that I don't like to carry it for long. When I go grocery shopping I put it in the baby seat of the cart. Now I know that's not safe, because everyone knows thieves hang out in grocery stores just waiting to snatch women's purses from baby seats while the unwitting women are squeezing the tomatoes - that's where my trick comes in. 

This morning my purse felt exceptionally heavy. Heavier than most days. After a quick inventory of its contents, I discovered why. Here's a quick list of my purses contents, I'm reasonably sure that I could survive (along with my family of five) for at least a year on the contents of my purse:
  1. Wallet containing credit and debit cards, coupons, 47 cents, pictures k through 12 of all 4 children, pictures of both granddaughters, engagement picture of son and daughter-in-law, insurance cards, drivers license, PADI C-card (in case I need to go scuba diving at a moment's notice), at least 8 "store" cards - like PetSmart, Drug Fair, Macy's, etc.) prescription slips, mac receipts never given to my husband, dog's rabies vaccination tag, current dog license, dog license from deceased dog, health insurance card, cell phone cheat sheet, various receipts from clothing stores, life-time weight watcher membership from 1990, weight watcher pound counter from 1990.
  2. Pens
  3. Notepad
  4. dog treats
  5. gum
  6. nutrigrain bar
  7. breath mints
  8. cell phone
  9. cell phone charger
  10. blue tooth ear thing that I never figured out how to work
  11. makeup
  12. comb
  13. hairbrush
  14. band aids
  15. prescriptions (1 week supply for everyone in the house)
  16. tampons
  17. pads with wings (my daughter likes the ones with wings)
  18. tissues
  19. bottle opener (hey, you never know)
  20. cork screw (ditto)
  21. keys to every house I ever lived in
  22. car keys
  23. toothpicks
  24. chapstick
  25. matches
  26. mirror
  27. thing that cuts your seatbelt and breaks your window if you drive into a lake
  28. small flashlight
  29. reading glasses that I bought at the drug store for $5.00
  30. tylenol
  31. pepcid ac
  32. motrin
  33. vitamins
  34. lactaid (husband is lactose intolerant and you never know when you are going to eat cheese)
  35. business cards (mine and others of people I don't know or can't remember)
  36. Clie (pda)
  37. Old dog collar (again, you never know)
  38. Cold medicine (sniff)
  39. perfume
  40. hand cream
At least that's what is at the top of my purse. I'm a little frightened about reaching into the depths of it. I think the extra weight is from the recently added puppy biscuits. Anyway, when I put my heavy purse in the baby seat compartment of the grocery cart, to thwart any attempt by thieves with a hand cart or fork lift trying to steal my purse while I'm squeezing a melon, I hook the little baby restraint straps through the straps of my purse and click. Viola! Instant purse lock. Clever right? or maybe I should just clean out my purse - but what would we do in the event of an emergency??


One stalk celery, diced
One medium spanish onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons unsalted butter 

This makes up your soffritto or in french, your mire pore. The basis of all stocks and sauces. Think flavor, flavor, flavor. 

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon flour
3 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
14 ounces canned (or fresh) chopped tomatoes with juices
nutmeg, salt and pepper
1 pound pasta of choice
fresh Parmesan for top.

Saute your soffrito ingredients over low heat until nice and soft. Add the garlic last to keep from burning. When the soffritto is soft and fragrant, add: 1 pound ground beef
Cook until beef is cooked through, then sprinkle flour over beef. Add the tomato paste, beef stock, wine and tomatoes and bring to simmer. Grate a good 8 gratings of nutmeg over top. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer for 1 hour - stirring every 15 minutes or so to insure sauce is not sticking to bottom of pot. 
Adjust your seasonings. 
Make your pasta.
Serve with italian bread and pass the parmesan.

Now eat, you'll need your strength in case I ask you to hold my purse. 

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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