I am notoriously bad at pre-planing meals. My husband, if it can be imagined, is even worse. So needless to say the food that we keep around the house is pretty much staples and whatever meat looked good at the market this week. Plus we get a produce box weekly from Abundant Harvest, which is always fabulous because it is cheap and convenient, but means that we have basically no control over how much and what kind of produce we get. So basically this makes dinner time around our house a little like Chopped. But without the weird just-there-to-throw-you-off ingredient. Usually. An average night at my house is something like this: you have corn, plums, green beans and tofu. Go! We almost always have a plentiful supply of staple foods like lentils, canned beans, rice, and pasta. But since I’m not planning ahead it isn’t completely unusual for me to go to the pantry and realize that we actually haven’t got one of the staple foods that I was planning on using and I need a last-minute swap. This was one of those nights. We had Bolognese sauce on mashed potatoes. That sound you just hear was traditional italian chefs around the world gasping in horror. But it wasn’t half bad. In retrospect, gnocchi would have been a better idea. I’ll keep that in the back of my mind for the inevitable next time.
The bolognese and was born of a need to use up some produce box and home-grown tomatoes before they started molding. I used the heirlooms from the box to make the bruschetta and the garden-grown paste tomatoes for the bolognese.
The bruschetta was a simple mix of chopped heirloom tomatoes, some garlic, and some fresh sage from the garden tossed in champagne vinegar and olive oil.
I served it over thinly sliced toasted home-made gluten free sesame bread. It was light and tasty. The only problem I ran into was that the heirloom tomatoes were so juicy that the whole thing was kind of swimming and I had to drain the tomatoes and re-season. So you’ll know better. Squeeze the juice out of the tomatoes first, okay?
The bolognese was sort of an amalgam of a bunch of recipes I found online, adapted for time and the ingredients I had on hand. Plus without dairy, because of my intolerance.
It was a bit experimental but I liked the way it turned out and so did Mr. DIYlettante. Little Miss didn’t eat much. I don’t know if she disliked it or if she was just feeling ornery and didn’t want to eat dinner. That happens a lot. Don’t you love toddlers?
1-2 heirloom tomatoes
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Seed tomatoes. Chop. Mix with the other ingredients. Serve over toasted bread.
1/2 stick butter
1 lg onion
2 tsp garlic
1 lb buffalo meat or other ground meat
1/4 c white wine
3/4 c. almond milk
6-8 small paste tomatoes or a small can chopped tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mince onions. Melt butter in a large pan or shallow pot over medium heat and then add minced onions and garlic and sauté.
Once onions are slightly transparent (about 5 minutes) add the ground meat slowly, stirring and separating the meat. Continue to sauté meat until it is well browned.
Add milk, white wine, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then lower heat and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes (or as long as you have, traditional bolognese simmers for hours!). Add beef broth as needed if sauce starts to look dry. Season with salt and pepper and serve over pasta of choice.