Does anyone else find the process of cooking relaxing? I used to get really frustrated in the kitchen, especially if things weren't going the way I wanted them to. I have definitely gotten more comfortable in the kitchen since then, and now I look forward to moments in the kitchen. I think I am turning more into my mother everyday! Anyway, Mondays are always a busy day for me and I usually don't get to cook dinner until after 9pm. Yeah, I know...but this is the way my schedule must be at least until I am done with school. Fortunately, my husband works at night so dinner is always done before he gets home! :) Even though I didn't start dinner until 9:45pm I still felt relaxed and liked the fact that I was making dinner instead of grabbing fast food. I got the idea for this meal from one of the girls on the message board...you can read her blog here. I liked this meal because it's definite comfort food and after some snow flurries today it was needed! I think if I make this again I will add some kind of vegetable - like some canned tomatoes because it needed some veggies!
Adapted from Rachael Ray
1 pound short pasta, such as macaroni, ziti rigate or gemelli (I used elbow macaroni)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 slices lean bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
1 pound ground meat (a mixture of beef, pork and veal) (I did NOT use this because frankly, it sounds pretty gross to me - I used ground turkey instead)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used jarred garlic)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika (I don't have this so I used a combination of paprika and cumin to get the smoky flavor)
Freshly ground pepper
3 large jarred roasted red peppers, drained (The jarred peppers I had were in pieces and not whole so I used about 3/4 of a jar)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (I used dried parsley)
A generous handful of fresh dill, chopped (I used dried dill)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, heat the EVOO, half a turn of the pan, in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 3 minutes, then move the bacon to the side of the pan and add the ground meat, crumbling it. Brown the meat for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and onion; season with the paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
In a food processor, puree the peppers until smooth and stir into the meat. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the beef broth and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the sour cream and cooked pasta. Top with the parsley and dill.