LUCY BURDETTE: Did you know that today is National Sticky Bun day?? Even so, I am not going to make them for you for two reasons.
First, the Old Town Bakery in Key West makes a recipe that is so good I could not possibly compete. And second, it would be death to our waistlines to have an entire recipe of these buns in our kitchen. We would feel obligated to eat all of them.
Instead, I will offer you a delicious dinner of spaghetti Bolognese. (To be entirely accurate, I chose ziti for the pasta, but you can pick any shape you like.) This recipe makes a lot of sauce. We had it for dinner and then froze two large containers, which will give us two other nights of pleasure. I put it all together on one day, and did most of the simmering the next.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced (about a cup--I did this in food processor)
1 and 1/2 cups minced carrots (about 6, ditto food processor)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup white wine
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 cup of milk
Saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil about 5 minutes in a big stockpot. Add the garlic, cook 30 seconds more. Scrape the vegetables out of the pot onto a plate. Brown the beef and pork, breaking it up into crumbles. Drain the fat. Add the veggies back into the pot with the drained meat. Now add wine and cook this down a little. (We happened to have the white wine left over so I used some of that--you could use either color and be fine.)
Now add the tomatoes, breaking them up in the pot as you stir. I like to make sure little hunks of skin are not left on the fruit before I add them to the pot, but you be the judge of whether running into skin in your sauce will annoy you:).
Add the tomato paste and the herbs. (Some recipes call for fresh chopped parsley, which I did not have so I made do.)
Add the milk. Simmer the whole thing about two hours until alcohol has evaporated and flavors blend.
Serve this with pasta of your choice topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (Not the stuff in the green can, oh lordy no...)
Meanwhile, don't forget that you can pre-order TOPPED CHEF so you'll have it on hand when it comes out in May!
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