Thursday, December 29, 2011
Meal Misadventures: One-Pot Spaghetti
I looked in my refrigerator and a wonderful container of baby portabello mushrooms and another of sweet baby peppers stared back at me. Spaghetti! I've never really pulled off homemade spaghetti sauce, so I naturally have a stash of store-bought sauce in my pantry that I doctor up with some wine and spices. But that was the one missing ingredient and the first stumble in this mis-adventure. So I pulled out my Better Homes and Garden cook book and voila! Three recipes for spaghetti and sauce. Only one didn't call for fresh tomatoes (should have been my first clue that this was going to be bad), so I decided on that one. The recipe was titled "One Pot Spaghetti." It entailed cooking the meat and sauce together, then adding broken spaghetti to the pot and simmer. Easy enough, I was actually optimistic about this recipe. Everything was going fine and I followed the recipe to a tee. I used whole wheat spaghetti (ok, just a couple recipe deviations...) and fresh mushrooms and peppers. I even used my own dried spices. Then, I added the pasta *insert dun dun duuuunnnn here*. The recipe called for 6oz pasta, not having a container with 6oz, I guessed. It was all downhill from here. The pasta cooking in the sauce made the sauce all gummy like the water when you cook pasta in not enough water. The taste was terribly bland and not a hint of tomato could be tasted.
Awe sassafras! so I added more tomato paste a ton of extra spices, lots of red wine, and some extra water and crossed my fingers. It improved a little, but was still gummy and bland. I let it simmer some more so the flavors could blend together, but to no avail. I had to serve gummy, gelatinous spaghetti-resembling muck. I tried to pretty it up with some cute peppers and parmesan cheese, but it only improved the look and did nothing for the taste. Not-So-Little man loved it, so did baby boy. Handsome Hubby tolerated it (only because I think he was starving) and I only got three bites in before I pushed it away. I was really bothered that I wasted such a beautiful and expensive thing as local, grass-fed beef. I'm sorry little cow, I tried to do you proud.
Thoroughly disappointed with dinner, I decided to play with my new Christmas present: my VitaMix. I will have to post again to explain why I friggin' LOVE this thing. I ended up making a green smoothie with bananas, apple, orange, collard greens, cranberry juice, and yogurt.
And since I'm putting away all of my fabulous Christmas decorations this weekend, I put it in my fun snowman glass. Thank you VitaMix for saving dinner and saving me from my meal mis-adventure. It's times like this (and others) that I really miss our doggie Sunshine; I could always count on her to clean up my meal mis-adventures.