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Made this for dinner tonight because I realized how much beef we’ve been eating lately! It tastes good and is healthy too – no butter, lean meat… the only bad thing is the Parmesan cheese. I’ve made this before and it’s one of my favorite things to cook/eat.

Here’s the recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck:

(Oh, if you’re gonna cook it, here’s my suggestion – instead of spending all the time finely chopping the carrots, celery and onion, just put them in a food processor)

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pound ground chicken
* 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
* 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
* 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
* Pinch chili flakes
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 cups tomato sauce
* 1/2 cup tomato juice
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 pound penne pasta

Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, and chili flakes and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Carefully deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce until the white wine is almost completely evaporated.

Add the tomato sauce and juice and simmer until a thick sauce consistency, about 20 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Cook the penne in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to the sauce. Add the drained pasta to the sauce along with the Parmesan and toss well. Serve in a large bowl garnished with parsley leaves.

Mr. Mom

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Elise got a stomach virus from the dirty kids at daycare, so I stayed home and played Mr. Mom today.

Had a pretty productive day – I took care of a little side work, patched a hole in my 20″ tire (stupid nails), even had time to cook a pot roast for 5 hours, AND Elise was smiling all day.

My pot roast served over a bed of mashed potatoes.

Here ARE some pics of the dinner I cooked up last night.

It’s fettuccine pasta tossed with butter, pecorino cheese, and arugula. I topped it with some jumbo shrimp and chicken in a pesto sauce. And because I saw some fresh large scallops at the market, I cooked up some scallops and put them on the side.

Here’s my weekend recap, told through photos and captions:

Elise is almost 5 months!

Saturday night

Sunday lunch

Recently, I’ve been IN LOVE with the taste of basil. For me, it was an acquired taste – I thought it had such a strong alien herby flavor but something just clicked one day.

Last night I made a dish with some shell pasta, mozzarella, basil, parmesan cheese, sauce made of tomatoes and chicken stock, and meatballs made from romano cheese, ground chicken, italian parsley, panko breadcrumbs. Italian food reminds me a lot of Chinese food in that many dishes are just different combinations of the same ingredients.

It was pretty good… and we were all full. But not as full as Elise.