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how to cook a great meal for my gf (i don't cook)

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by elliottw, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. otc

    otc Senior member

    Aug 15, 2008
    Pasta ala Ragu™.
    1. Boil
    2. Pour
    3. Eat

    As an added bonus, if you happen to get sick and vomit somewhere between steps one and three, nobody will be able to taste the differance.
  2. otc

    otc Senior member

    Aug 15, 2008
    As a more serious suggestion, a good starting point would be a quality italian sausage. The flavor elements in a sausage should already be taken care of so you only have to worry about not killing the meat.
    Put the sausage in a frying pan and add water to 1/3-1/2 or so the height of the sausage. Cover and boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Then uncover and let the water boil off and brown both sides of the sausage (you may have to pour off some of the extra water). I usually wait to poke some holes in the sausage until after the boiling stage so you can sort of fry it in its own juices...just dont let it explode.

    What I have enjoyed a few times recently would have you then chop that sausage up and throw it into a vodka sauce with some pasta...

    For the sauce, finely dice a medium onion and a few cloves of garlic. Put 2 tbsp butter and 2tbsp olive oil in a pan and heat until melted, add the onions/garlic and cook for a few minutes. Then add about a cup of vodka and let the alcohol boil off/continue to cook for a few more minutes. Throw in a can of tomato puree (not sauce or paste) and stir for a bit on a low heat. then pour in a cup of cream and stir. You will need a good amount of salt since cooking with vodka isn't quite like cooking with wine and I always like a bunch of fresh groud pepper. Throw in the chopped sausage (I'd go with a little over a pound for this much sauce) and toss with a pound of pasta. If the sauce is too thick, you can save a little of the water the pasta was boiled in and use it to thin the sauce.

    Serve with some bread...you can just buy this...I ended up making beer bread last time since I didn't want to go to the store. I usually go with:
    3 cups flour
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 12oz can beer (usually the cheaper the better, I have found Old Style to make the BEST bread while nicer beers impart the wrong kind of flavor)
    whisk the dry stuff together. This will taste fine by itself but I usually tailor it to the food it is being served with by throwing in some extra seasonings. Often that's as simple as some Penzey's "Italian Pasta Sprinkle" or "Fox Point Seasoning" that I got as gifts...just add until it looks like a reasonable amount of herb particles (I would estimate a tbsp or so...its easy and ingredients are cheap so you can fool around).
    Pour in the can of beer while mixing to just combine and then put the dough (should be pretty sticky) into an 8" loaf pan and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes (toothpick should come out clean...be careful not to dry it out too much though). You can eat it right away, otherwise cool for a little bit in the pan and then remove to a rack.

    You can do a little glaze on this if you like (I always do)...1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp of cold water and brushed on the top seems to work fine.

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