Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower crust pizza for a long time. The idea of pizza without excessive carbs seemed almost too good to be true, the elusive holy grail of pizza. I’m here to confirm it really is worth all the fuss. And a fuss it is! Now that I’m a working mom, this almost seemed like too much work when I can just have Ed pick up a pizza on the way home. But I couldn’t get this pizza out of my mind for months. I had to try it, and I’m so glad that I did. If you’re going Paleo or on a gluten-free diet (and even if like me, you’re not), this completely satisfies the craving.

A few notes:

My goal was to create a crust that is so good I would want to eat it alone, and I think I accomplished that. This is the recipe I used for inspiration by Michelle of The Lucky Penny. She has excellent instructions and pictures, so definitely check it out. I personally feel like there is nothing as good as fresh garlic, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my version.

If you use a large head of cauliflower, you can make two pizza crusts. Do not overstuff your food processor. Don’t ask me how I know this! Three-quarters of the way full is just right, so go for a small head of cauliflower if you’re just looking for one crust.

Reviews: Ed and I loved this. Our seventeen year old loved this, too. Our twelve year old hated it. And our ten year old ate half of one slice and then made himself a Nutella sandwich.

Dawn’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 small head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
1/4 cup grated mozzarella
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven with pizza stone on top rack to 450 degrees.

Add cauliflower florets, peeled garlic clove, and parsley to food processor. Pulse until finely grated and resembles a snowy texture. Place cauliflower in microwave safe dish, cover and cook on high for 4 minutes. Allow to cool, then place cauliflower in clean dish towel and wring out excess water over sink. You will expel a lot of water. This step is important.

In a medium bowl, beat together egg, salt, oregano and cheese. Add cooled cauliflower and mix well with hands. On a piece of parchment paper sprayed with oil, form mixture into shape of crust. Remove pizza stone from oven, carefully place parchment paper with crust atop the stone, and return to oven. Cook about ten minutes, until edges start to brown. Remove from oven, add your favorite toppings, and cook another 6 to 8 minutes until cheese is melted. Cool slightly, cut, and enjoy!

cauliflower1

doughball

Once the cauliflower is cooked and wrung out, you should be able to easily form it into a doughlike ball.

crust3

DO NOT SKIP THE PARCHMENT PAPER! It allows one to easily move the rolled out dough onto the hot pizza stone in a nonstick manner. And on that note, DO NOT SKIP THE PIZZA STONE! Super high heat helps produce a very crustlike result.

pizza4

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Onion and Ale Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons

Hooray for soup season! Add soup to the growing list of things I’m appreciating more as I march through my forties. It’s right up there with slippers, Lawrence Welk reruns, cardigans, and butterscotch candies. I’m sure Bingo is just around the corner for me.

As soon as I saw this come across my Facebook feed, I knew it was a winner. Onions + Beer + Cheese + Croutons? Sign me up! All I needed was a day off from work and a little cool weather, and I was ready to pounce. This recipe is almost too easy. While the onions are a tad time consuming since you cook the hell out of them, the rest of it almost feels like cheating. But I am not complaining! This soup has a surprisingly sweet and layered complexity of a recipe that requires much more effort. Definitely a fun twist on traditional French onion soup.

Soup1

Fine Cooking’s Onion and Ale Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons
by Maryellen Driscoll, original recipe here

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 lb. yellow onions (about 3 medium), halved through the root and thinly sliced lengthwise
Kosher salt
1/2 cup pale ale, such as Saranac or Sierra Nevada
2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1-1/2 cups lower-salt beef broth
7 oz. sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups)
4-1/2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cook without stirring until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and stir with a wooden spatula. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onions are well browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the ale and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and cook at a vigorous simmer until all but a thin layer of the ale has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and beef broths and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Spread the bread in a single layer and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, push the bread cubes closely together, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the croutons and a sprinkling of the chives.

Onion and Ale Soup

Farmers’ Market Pasta with Leeks, Spinach and Summer Squash

Recently Cook’s Country magazine arrived in the mail for the first time, and I think it has potential to be a good one. As a subscriber of the now defunct Cook’s Illustrated Entertaining editions, I am assuming this magazine was sent in its place. Slowly but surely, life is starting to feel normal again. Well, normalish. Normalish enough that I actually opened up the magazine and looked at some recipes instead of filing it away unread. Any progress is good progress, right?

Of course I went to the quick and easy recipes first. I try to do a lot of my cooking and food prep in the morning before work, because I’m not usually home until 7:00 pm — and by then, I’m in no shape to tie my shoes let alone work with fire. A recipe like this is right up my alley: fresh, flavorful, one pot, and with some added protein, it’s a complete meal. It looked way too beige for my liking, so I added some cherry tomatoes. Since I also added a bit of arugula, I skipped the basil in the original recipe, but that might be preferable if you are just using spinach. This is both good served warm and at room temperature, and a nice change from the normal pasta salads we see this time of year.

Farmers’ Market Pasta with Leeks, Spinach and Summer Squash
inspired by Cook’s Country June/July 2013

1 pound penne or similar pasta
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, & washed thoroughly
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 yellow summer squash (about 8 oz each), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 oz (6 cups) baby spinach, chopped coarse
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces good Parmesan grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Optional: 2 cups grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp
Optional but recommended: a handful of arugula

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add penne and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water, then drain penne.

2. Heat oil in now empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add leeks and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add squash and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in penne, spinach, Parmesan, tomatoes, remaining 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, and butter until combined. Add cooked chicken, salmon or shrimp, if using. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.

farmers'marketpasta

Spicy Cabbage with Pancetta and Shrimp

For the first time in what feels like many weeks, I was inspired to cook, and I have my original blogging inspiration to thank. Luisa from The Wednesday Chef posted this recipe, and it immediately grabbed me. It’s been a long while since I had that I-must-try-this-tonight feeling, and it’s good to have it return. I missed you, apron.

Transitions are always hard for me, and even though I’m very blessed to have a great work environment and lots of support on the homefront, I still struggle mightily with change. Eventually I get my bearings and wind up exactly where I belong, but it’s not always an easy journey.

I celebrated my 45th birthday yesterday. I have loved my forties so far and agree with everyone who told me it’s a great decade: lots of wisdom, and no time for nonsense. My only complaint is that the past five years really zoomed by, and at this rate I will be fifty before I know it. Not that that’s so terrible (as they say, better than the alternative), but I am always amazed at how each year goes by quicker than the last once you hit a certain age. Both at my very first job and my current job, I see a lot of fabulous, vibrant people in their seventies and eighties, so I know the party isn’t necessarily over just quite yet.

I was off the last two days and managed to pack in a lot of fun. Caught up on my Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while folding loads of laundry, just like the good old days. Had two long lunches with two different friends. Browsed Target, my former home away from home, at a leisurely pace. And, finally, blogged.

This is a very forgiving recipe which lends itself easily to variations. Sambal Oelek is this stuff, and it’s stocked in all my grocery stores (even the super white bready ones). I used pancetta, but you can omit it or use bacon. I used shrimp, but you can omit it or add another meat, chicken or shellfish. Luisa’s version is slightly different but I am sure equally easy and delicious. Serve with a hearty bread and call it a meal.

Spicy Cabbage with Pancetta and Shrimp

Serves 4

1 head green cabbage, sliced in strips
1 onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons peanut or canola oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek or more to taste
10 to 15 large cooked shrimp

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat and add chopped onion. Once softened, add pancetta and cook until brown. Add cabbage and cook for ten minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes, salt, and sambal oelek. Cover and lower heat for about ten minutes. Add cooked shrimp or other meat and serve.

cabbage

spatially challenged

The above picture is for my long-suffering Ed, who has dealt with my spatial challenges for over twenty years. Clearly he wasn’t home for me to ask, “Will this all fit in that bowl?” Note: Nine times out of ten, the answer is usually no.

spicy cabbage

Sea Scallops with Rainbow Salad and Mustard Sauce

After unleashing the evil that is homemade Nutella on to the world, I feel compelled to repent and share something healthy(ish) but equally delicious.

Rainbow salad, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a mixture of shredded red cabbage, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower stalks. Beautiful and healthy! You can certainly make your own, but hopefully you can save some time and find it alongside the bagged coleslaw in the salad section of your grocery store.

This recipe serves two to three people. Ed and I enjoyed generously sized portions, and there was a wee little bit left over. At $17.99 a pound for good sea scallops, I wasn’t prepared to serve this to my sometimes-picky family of five, but it is good enough that I will double this recipe and serve it to adult dinner guests in the future.

Sea Scallops with Rainbow Salad and Mustard Sauce,
serves 2 to 3

Ingredients
1 pound of sea scallops, patted dry
salt, kosher and regular
pepper
all-purpose flour
12 oz. Rainbow Salad (shredded red cabbage, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower stalks)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions
Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides, then lightly coat each side with all-purpose flour. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the rainbow slaw, a couple generous pinches of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and toss to coat well. Stir occasionally, about 2 minutes, and then cover with lid for one minute. Transfer to a warmed platter.

In same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the scallops, turning them at 3 minutes, and then cook another 2 minutes. Place them atop the rainbow salad on the platter.

Turn skillet to medium-low heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 generous tablespoon of Dijon mustard, stirring a scraping up any brown bits, until sauce is well mixed and thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour over scallops and serve.

rainbowsalad

scallops

German Pear Pancake

All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

February is a rather dreary month here in Pennsylvania. Our national treasure, Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, did not see his shadow yesterday, which is good news for those of us hoping for an early spring. The bad news is that Phil is only correct about 39% of the time. But one way or another, spring will come, and I am trying to enjoy the beauty of winter while it’s still here. That, of course, includes more carbs and less salads. See? Winter isn’t so awful. Light and shadow, people. Light and shadow.

Traditional German pancakes are made with apples, but this recipe caught my eye. There is something comforting about the alliterative pear pancake; it sounds warm and appealing, doesn’t it? Add in the fact that it’s prepared with a cast iron skillet, and I knew I’d be making this the first chance I got.

Fine Cooking says this recipe serves four to six, but a word of warning: Unless you are serving six anorexic models, don’t plan on serving this to more than four people. Also, inform your children that it’s not like a “normal” pancake; I have learned so much of life is about managing expectations. This almost has a bread pudding quality to it. Pleasantly sweet, but not overly so. Pairs very well with bacon or sausage on a cold winter’s day.

GermanPearPancake

German Pear Pancake, Fine Cooking, original recipe here

Ingredients

1 large firm-ripe Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 large lemon, finely grated to yield 1/2 Tbs. zest, squeezed to yield 2 Tbs. juice
4 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 oz. (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 3 slices
3 to 4 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Crème fraîche (optional)

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, toss the pear slices with the lemon juice and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer on high speed until thick and frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix on low speed until combined. Sift in the flour and mix on low speed until combined (don’t worry if there are lumps).

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, and when it begins to foam, add the pear slices, quickly turning them to coat with the butter, and arranging them in a single layer. Pour the batter evenly over the pears  and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the pancake is set in the middle, the sides have risen, and the bottom is nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the pancake with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with a dollop of crème fraîche, if using.

Giada’s Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup

Come back! Don’t run away! I know this sounds way too healthy to be exciting, but trust me. This is really, really good. A dear friend emailed me this recipe, saying it was one of the best things she’s ever made. I don’t know about you, but when I hear language like that, I stop and pay attention — especially if it’s coming from someone with pretty discriminating taste. In addition, the recipe has a five star rating from over 100 people. I followed the directions exactly, except I eliminated the parsley, as it seemed superfluous to me. Hello, SAT word.

We have had a tough week here with illness. Norovirus and pneumonia for Nate; fever, cough, and God-knows-what-else for Andrew, and general insanity for me. I have not been feeling so hot but bravely soldiering on, as a good nurse should. Sometimes all you can do is make a nice pot of soup and hope for the best.

Giada’s Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup, original recipe here

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 6 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces ground white turkey meat, broken into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and rice. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan, if using, and serve.

turkeykalesoup

 

Whiskey Crab Cakes

We love crab cakes and are fortunate to have two very good local sources for them. I have tried to make them myself a couple times over the years, but they always seemed to turn out like expensive mistakes. Edible, sure, but I do try to aim higher.

Third time’s a charm, as they say. I combined elements of recipes from two old cookbooks (hear that, youngins? cookbooks with real gen-u-ine paper pages, just like Ma Ingalls used to use), and I think I came up with the perfect formula: flavorful but not overly packed with filler. And my personal secret ingredient designed to enhance the delicate sweetness of the crab? One tablespoon of Irish whiskey. Serve these with Bobby Flay’s cole slaw and some potato chips, and you have a delicious meal.

crab cake

Dawn’s Whiskey Crab Cakes

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red paper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Irish whiskey

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lemon, halved and juiced

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 stick salted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Saute shallot and pepper about five minutes, until softened and fragrant. Cool and place in small bowl. In same bowl, mix together Worcestershire, Dijon, whiskey, salt, lemon juice and crushed red pepper.

In a large bowl, lightly beat two eggs. Add pepper mixture and panko crumbs. Gently fold in crab and combine without over mixing.

Using a one-half cup dry measuring cup, scoop up crab mixture and form into a ball. Place on buttered or sprayed baking sheet. You should have 6 to 8 crab cakes, depending on how generously you fill your cup.

Melt remaining butter in microwave or stove top. Spoon about one tablespoon of melted butter on top of each crab cake. Bake about 15 minutes. If you prefer a crispier top, they can be placed under the broiler for a minute or two once baked.

Sri Lankan Inspired Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews

This is exactly the sort of semi-ambitious dish which appeals to my palate and my ego in equal measure. Any old suburban hausfrau can whip up some Indian food these days, but Sri Lankan cuisine propels one to that next level of cooler-than-thou. Take that, Fancy Nancy!

This is a bit more labor intensive than my usual dishes, but truly flavorful and worth the extra effort. The sauce is heavenly and would go well with jasmine rice. I was lucky to have most of the spices on hand already; I shudder to think what this would cost if you were buying everything exclusively for this recipe. Even though the author admits parsnips are not part of Sri Lankan cuisine, I agree that they really are the perfect touch.

coconutcashewchicken

David Tanis’s Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews, New York Times (1/4/2013), original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut in 3-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1 pound small parsnips, peeled and cut in 2-inch batons, optional
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • A few sprigs mint and cilantro for garnish, optional

Preparation

1.
Season chicken generously with salt and pepper and put it in a mixing bowl. Add ginger and garlic and massage into meat. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast cloves, fennel, cardamom, allspice, cumin and coriander until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Grind the toasted spices to a fine powder in an electric spice mill and add to chicken. Add turmeric, cayenne and lemon juice and mix well. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate up to 1 hour.
2.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put cashews on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Spread the shredded coconut on the baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then let cool. Grind the coconut with 1/4 cup cashews in a spice mill or small food processor to make a rough powder. Reserve 1/2 cup roasted cashews for garnish.
3.
Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a simmer, then add parsnips and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool.
4.
In a wide heavy-bottomed pot, heat ghee over medium-high heat. Add cooked parsnips, if using, and sauté until lightly browned. Remove and reserve. Add chicken pieces to the pot, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then remove and set aside. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add tomato paste and let it sizzle with onions for a minute or two. Add broth and bring to a brisk simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up any caramelized bits from the pot. Add cinnamon stick, chicken and the ground coconut and cashew mixture. Adjust heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until chicken is tender. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5.
To finish the dish, stir in coconut milk and add reserved parsnips. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until parsnips are heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with reserved cashews. Garnish with mint and cilantro sprigs, if using.

Our Favorite Ragù alla Bolognese

There are as many recipes for ragu alla Bolognese as there are Italian Nonnas making them. For years, I did an adequate job with this sauce, but I always felt it was lacking a certain je ne sais quois (oops, wrong country). Then I read and reviewed Luisa Weiss’s book My Berlin Kitchen (wrong country again!) and tweaked my technique just enough to say with confidence that I’ve finally mastered this.

This is not Luisa’s recipe (and I’m only being clear about that since lately I’ve wound up with a lot of traffic from people who were searching for that recipe online); I have added garlic and crushed red pepper, as well as subtracted some of the meat. The spirit is the same, but the details are different. I do think it’s important to spring for canned whole San Marzano tomatoes (assuming you don’t have tomatoes plucked fresh from your garden, that is). One thing Luisa did drill in my head, however, is that the ultimate secret ingredient in this sauce is time. If you can start this before 11:00 am, you will have a happy family come dinner time.

Mama Dawn’s Ragu alla Bolognese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced

2 large carrots, peeled and minced

1 pound of ground beef/pork blend, or meatloaf meat

1/2 cup red wine

1 28 ounce can peeled San Marzano tomatoes, pureed with juice in food processor

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, finely chop onions, carrots and garlic clove. In a heavy sauce pan, such as the awesome Le Creuset your mom got you for Christmas last year that you love so much it hurts, melt the butter and olive oil. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic and cook on medium high for about six minutes, until softened. Add the ground meat and cook for about ten minutes, until it is no longer pink and most of the liquid is cooked out. Add wine, and simmer for about five minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Once bubbling, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and go on with your life. Every so often, give it a good stir. Let simmer between five and seven hours. Serve with favorite pasta and a nice glass of chianti.