Exam days are usually draining and exhausting but yesterday, surprisingly enough, I was full of energy and ready to do a million things. When I get in that mood I usually get into housewife mode and I want to cook and have dinner ready for when the hubby gets home.
Yesterday was precisely that. Fueling my desire to cook was the fact that I love spaghetti and ground beef and we had just done groceries on Sunday. I opened the fridge to get some inspiration and I saw the pack of mushrooms we had gotten and I had an AWESOME idea, mushroom Bolognese.
I ran to my computer and researched recipes and realized I did not have all the ingredients (we just went to Sam’s so a lot of products we get at the local supermarket we still need). I kept searching feeling kind of bummed at the fact that I was missing some ingredients. Not a problem, I decided to wing it and improvise but using a recipe as baseline. I ran into this recipe and I had most of what it needed.
Since I modified and changed a LOT of it I will list what I did step by step. I started out using a small pot but then changed to a deep skillet, so you will see the transition in the pictures.
First drizzle about two circles of extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of the pan and turn to medium heat. Let it heat and Then I add about 2 TBS of “Sofrito” (Sofrito is a classic Puertorican seasoning blend used to cook beans and beefs, composed of onion, garlic, pimento, cilantro, recao [another cilantro leaf], red pepper, oregano, basil and ajies) with 1 TBS of ground garlic.
I let that sauté for about 2 minutes. You could easily do what the original recipe called for which was sauté onion and garlic. Meanwhile I cut up about 1.5-2 cups of mushrooms using 2-3mm cuts.
Once that sofrito mix was cooked through I added the mushrooms and transferred to the skillet. I added about 1 circle of olive oil. I let the mushrooms cook for about 7 minutes.
Then I added the ground beef. We buy ground turkey since we try to minimize consumption of red meats, and we like it more than normal ground beef which has more fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper or adobo.
I let the meat start to cook through and when it was mostly brown I washed some canned carrots and threw them in the skillet mixing in with the beef and mushrooms.
After several minutes I added about 2 cups of Prego traditional pasta sauce. I also added 1tsp of basil, ½ tsp of thyme, 1 small fresh oregano leaf, and 3 small laurel leaves and about 2 tbs of water. I raised the heat for about 3 minutes and let it simmer away.
After the 3 minutes are done I lowered the heat to low and then off.
I had an activity which I had to run out to and when I returned I put it on heat 3 and prepares the water to boil the pasta, spaghetti or linguine will do the trick.
When the pasta is done you can easily serve it 2 ways, drain and serve the pasta with the sauce over it or add the pasta to the skillet, mix and serve. I resorted to the latter. I would have liked to have fresh parsley and fresh parmesan but I did not, so I served with Kraft ground parmesan.
When my hubby got home we sat down with a cold beer to have dinner. This dish easily serves 4 and it is delicious. It is such a warm and comforting dish that you can easily make when on a rush or any day. It is very versatile and it allows for a lot of creativity. I am really excited to go finish the grocery shopping and experiment a little more with this dish and see how I can add more ingredients to make it even more healthy.
This is definitely a new favorite in my home and I hope you can enjoy this dish as well.
- Ground meat
- Dry Spaghetti or Linguine
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Canned or fresh carrots
- Fresh oregano
- Traditional Pasta Sauce
- Ground Parmesan Cheese
- Salt & Pepper to taste
That is it! Easy peasy and all done in a total time of about 25 minutes.
What is your favorite pasta dish? Have you done anything similar to this dish?