Busy bees.

in an hour or so, I will wake hailey up, "throw" her into the shower (since her poor ol' mom was too exhausted to do so yesterday evening)... and transform her into amelia earhart for her first memorized presentation.  she's been working hard all week... the biography portion (a written report) was done on tuesday, then the speech was written on wednesday- and she's been practicing ever since.  last time i checked-- isn't she only in 3rd grade??  

as i type, jacob is vigorously working on homework that he was just too tired to finish last night.  lots has been squeezed into this boy's schedule as of late.  a big KMO competition earlier this week, a full x-ray exam after school yesterday (dr. ordered due to slight imbalance of chest bone structure... fingers crossed that it's nothing)... a scout camping trip, this weekend, to prepare for.  he's the patrol leader, which means he's in charge of all communications, cash, and most importantly- food.  so, he and ryan scrolled the grocery store isles yesterday, calculator in hand.

all that to say, it's been a pretttttty busy week in the sessions' household, kids & parents alike.  and, it's not over yet.  not until the day is through... not until her speech is complete... not until we 'pack him up' & send him off to camp...

so last night, i decided we needed a nice hearty, soul-soothing dinner.  one that was meaty enough to satisfy my growing boy (can you believe we now wear the same. shoe. size???)... one that was packed with enough pasta to her pasta-loving heart's content... one that i could toss together in minutes- then let blip~blip~blip away during the chaos.

turkey bolognese
*from my father's daughter, by gwyneth paltrow

{I've had this book since it came out, but there are so many recipes i've been wanting to try- including this one.  The recipes are not "earth-shattering" (like jora said), but they are wholesome, and comforting, and a bit festive, even... and easy enough for a weeknight (but tasty enough for a weekend).}

serves 4 (with enough for leftovers... YES :))

5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb italian turkey sausage links
1 lb ground turkey (ideal to use dark meat)... used lean ground beef
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
1/3 cup tomato paste
3/4 lb rigatoni... found [& used] whole what rigatoni!
grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium0high heat.  Add the sausages and cook, turning them now and then, until browned all over, about 10 minutes.  Remove the sausages to a plate and add the ground turkey (or beef) to the pan along with a healthy pinch of salt and a few fresh grinds of pepper.  Cook, stirring here and there, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Remove to a separate plate.
Add another 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until these are softened and just beginning to brown, another solid 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juice along with about 1/2 cup of water that you've swished in the cans to get all the tomato out of them.  Add ground meat, stir the sauce well, and nestle the sausages in.

Bring the sauce to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper (I recommend waiting until later to season) and turn the heat to low.  Cover almost completely with a lid (let steam escape from one side) and gently simmer for 4 hours, adding splashes of water every hour or so if the sauce is at all drying out.  Uncover the sauce and stir in the tomato paste, barely cover, and simmer for 1 more hour.
When it's about ready for serving, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously.  Drop the rigatoni in and cook according to package directions.  Serve the sauce over the cooked rigatoni with a nice grating of Parmesan on top.  Perfect.
  •  This was a great simple "base" bolognese recipe.  No carrots or celery (which worked, since I didn't have them on-hand)... No spices, fresh herbs, or wine- which also worked well for last night, since I was short on time, & the "less is more" approach was entirely necessary.
  • That said, as time permits, I'd definitely add any- or all- of the above if I happened to have it on hand.  In her ragu recipe (which I've made several times), she tosses a few sprigs of rosemary into the meat (along with red pepper flakes & crushed fennel)... divine. (*and she adds a cup of wine, which never hurts)
  • Speaking of the turkey ragu recipe, I've noticed (no clue as to why I'm just now noticing this) a weird taste in ground turkey (even when mixed with all of the deliciousness mentioned above).  For this recipe, I used turkey sausage, but instead of ground turkey, I used lean ground beef.

well, looks like "miss amelia" is up... 

here's to a busy friday, and a wonderful, revitalizing weekend.


  1. Your kids are growing too fast! Slow them down!!!

  2. You mean it doesn't slow down when they get older? ;) haha...wishful thinking on my part! Hang in there wonder woman! xoxo

  3. omgsh, will we get a picture of how little mis amelia looks?? :)
    I've noticed the ground turkey tastes funky too, I use a mixture of pork and lean beef


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...